How Can Patriots Replace Departing Defensive Line Coach Bret Bielema?


January 21, 2020

The New England Patriots reportedly have another vacancy to fill on their coaching staff.

Defensive line coach Bret Bielema is leaving the Patriots to join Joe Judge’s coaching staff with the New York Giants, according to multiple reports. Bielema was an assistant defensive line coach in 2018 before taking over the position group in 2019 when former defensive line coach Brendan Daly left to join the Kansas City Chiefs.

The easiest way to fill the position would be a shift in coaching duties on the Patriots’ defensive staff. The Patriots split their inside and outside linebacker coaching duties between Jerod Mayo and DeMarcus Covington in 2019. Mayo could take over the linebacker group in 2020 with Covington moving over to the defensive line.

The Patriots also could move a coaching assistant to linebackers or the defensive line. Brian Belichick, head coach Bill Belichick’s youngest son, was a defensive coaching assistant in 2019.

The final alternative would be to hire a defensive line coach from outside the organization. The Patriots reportedly hired one of their former practice squad players, safety Vinnie Sunseri, to join their staff this winter.

Regardless of who coaches defensive linemen in 2020, they’ll be assisted by director of skill development Joe Kim, who works with pass rushers.

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