How Can Patriots Replace Joe Judge After Assistant Leaves For Giants?


January 7, 2020

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick often talks about versatility in his players. There was no coach more versatile on Belichick’s staff than Joe Judge, who reportedly is leaving to become the New York Giants’ next head coach.

Judge served as the Patriots’ special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach in 2019, so one person won’t be able to replace him on staff. So, who takes over both roles?

The top candidate to rise up the special teams coaching ranks is Cam Achord, who has served as a special teams assistant for two seasons. Achord seemingly took on a bigger role in 2019 when Judge added wide receivers to his coaching responsibilities. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Patriots added a new assistant special teams coach to the staff. Kevin Spencer, who worked with New England in an unofficial capacity this season, would be a candidate. Brian Belichick, who served as a coaching assistant last season, also could take on an official role on staff.

Former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown assisted Judge coaching wide receivers during the 2019 season. He also could take on an official position with the Patriots. Another candidate to replace Judge would be former Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea, who was fired as Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator after just one season.

New England also could shake up its current coaching staff and move another coach to wide receivers. Tight ends coach Nick Caley and assistant quarterbacks coach Mick Lombardi both work on the offensive side of the ball.

If Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels leaves for the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching job, that could further complicate matters. Then perhaps the Patriots would have to look outside the organization for an offensive coordinator or wide receivers coach. They could also hire O’Shea as offensive coordinator and promote Brown to wide receivers coach.

Regardless of what happens, there’s already turnover in the Patriots’ coaching ranks this offseason. The Patriots lost O’Shea, linebackers coach Brian Flores, defensive line coach Brendan Daly, cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer and assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski, among others, last offseason. Judge is the first one to go this winter.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge
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