Troy Brown’s new job with the New England Patriots, on the surface, looks a little odd.
Brown made the Patriots Hall of Fame for his contributions as a slot receiver and punt returner. So, why is he coaching running backs — where he’ll work alongside Ivan Fears — and kick returners?
It turns out, that’s not all he’ll be doing with the Patriots this season.
“Troy spent the year with us last year. Of course, he has a tremendous amount of experience here. He’ll continue to work with other positions, as well, the returners and slot receivers,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Friday on a video conference call. “But I think just given the conversations I’ve had with Troy, he’s very eager. He has a very good football — he’s a very instinctive football player and coach. I think he was always great with the ball in his hands as a runner. He was obviously a great receiver. That’s a big part of every running back’s job. Again, he was a strong player in the kicking game, as well. It was an opportunity for him to be involved with a little bit of a different group.
“We moved a couple coaches around this year that I think just expanding their coaching of different positions, coaching different players, it helps them become better overall coaches. Cole (Popovich) was with the running backs last year and this year he’ll work with the offensive line. Stephen (Belichick) was with the safeties and now will be with the outside linebackers. There’s a lot of benefit of that. Josh (McDaniels), Matt Patricia, we can go on and on about all of the coaches that have switched spots around here. I think Troy has done a great job with them and he’ll certainly be involved in other things besides just the running backs.”
Brown assisted Patriots wide receivers coach Joe Judge, who is now the New York Giants’ head coach, last season in an NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship position.
He caught 557 passes for 6,366 yards with 31 touchdowns, carried the ball 29 times for 178 yards, returned 252 punts for 2,625 yards with three touchdowns and 87 kicks for 1,862 yards in his career with the Patriots which spanned from 1993 to 2007. He also registered 22 tackles and three interceptions as a part-time defensive back.
Mick Lombardi will be the Patriots’ wide receivers coach this season. He was assistant quarterbacks coach in 2019. New hire Jedd Fisch will take over as quarterbacks coach in 2020.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images