After spending three seasons in Detroit under Matt Patricia, Billy Yates reportedly has rejoined the New England Patriots.
Yates, a former Patriots offensive lineman, “has been working with Bill Belichick’s staff in recent weeks” and is expected to “stick around in 2021,” according to a report Friday from ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Yates most recently served as the Lions’ assistant offensive line coach, having been promoted to that role last year after two seasons in the William Clay Ford Minority Coaching Assistantship program. Detroit cleaned house this offseason after firing Patricia in November.
The 40-year-old Yates also worked in the strength and conditioning departments at Bowling Green, Texas Tech and Texas A&M and spent 2015 training camp with the Patriots as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship.
As a player, Yates appeared in 22 games for the Patriots from 2004 to 2008, starting 11. He also saw action for the Miami Dolphins in 2003 and the Cleveland Browns in 2009 and 2010 before retiring.
It’s unclear what coaching responsibilities Yates is handling in New England. The Patriots employed Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo as co-offensive line coaches in 2020, replacing retired legend Dante Scarnecchia.
Patricia also is back in New England. The former Patriots defensive coordinator reportedly will serve in a consultant-type role that includes personnel evaluation.
The Patriots also have added longtime former Lions assistant Evan Rothstein and Bo Hardegree, who worked under Adam Gase in Denver, Chicago, Miami and New York, to their staff this offseason, according to reports.