The New England Patriots have had four offensive coaches leave the staff recently, most notably with former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels landing in the head coaching job with the Las Vegas Raiders.
McDaniels since has taken three ex-Patriot assistants with him. Former Patriots receivers coach Mick Lombardi, offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo and assistant quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree all will be joining McDaniels, according to reports. Lombardi reportedly will be taking over as the offensive coordinator.
With the extensive brain drain it’s caused many to think who could take over the offensive play calling duties. Former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi (also Mick’s father) inferred it could be head coach Bill Belichick.
“Whoever comes back is working for the head coach,” Mike Lombardi said on WEEI’s “Merloni & Fauria,” as transcribed by the network. “Nobody comes back on their own program. Whatever happens with this offense it’s all going to be predicated on what Coach Belichick wants to do and how he sees this offense moving forward. I think that’s the key. And as fans, that’s what you have to understand. He is going to run the offense.”
The Patriots hired ex-New York Giants head coach Joe Judge, who previously worked in New England, as an “offensive assistant” this week. That hiring came prior to the departure of Mick Lombardi, proving Judge could be one of fills the former’s role.
“Now, Joe (Judge) is going to be in there to do what he has to do and handle things he needs to handle at the discretion of the head coach. But I think this is an opportunity to kind of clean up their offense and kind of narrow things down,” Mike Lombardi said. “When you have had one player, one position coach for so long, with Josh (McDaniels) in there, you tend to build up a lot of value. There is a lot of verbiage that goes with it. I think Coach (Belichick) will probably want to come in and cut all that down and kind of rebrand the offense around Mac Jones.”
The Patriots also could be without longtime running backs coach Ivan Fears when the upcoming campaign starts, as he’s expected to retire. New England’s remaining offensive assistants from 2021 currently include Nick Caley (tight ends/fullbacks), Troy Brown (wide receivers/kick returners), Vinnie Sunseri (running backs), Billy Yates (assistant O-line) and assistant Tyler Hughes.
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