Five Takeaways From Patriots’ Shrine Bowl Coaching Staff

Hello, Bill O'Brien


Jan 25, 2023

We found out two weeks ago that the New England Patriots would be sending their coaching staff to the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas.

On Wednesday, we learned exactly which role each of those coaches will be filling.

Here is the Patriots’ full Shrine Bowl staff:

Supervisory role: Bill Belichick
Supervisory role: Jerod Mayo
Supervisory role: Bill O’Brien

Head coach: Troy Brown
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Ross Douglas
Co-defensive coordinator/D-line: Mike Pellegrino
Co-defensive coordinator/linebackers: Brian Belichick

Head supervisor assistant: Berj Najarian
Supervisor special teams: Cam Achord
Special teams coordinator: Joe Houston
Cornerbacks: V’Angelo Bentley
Tight ends: Tyler Hughes
Assistant defensive line: Keith Jones
Assistant defensive line: Joe Kim
Running backs: Evan Rothstein
Wide receivers: Vinnie Sunseri
Assistant offensive line: Billy Yates

One of the Shrine Bowl’s aims is to allow assistant coaches to “possibly coach up a level or to coach a new position” while they work with some of this year’s top NFL draft prospects. So, this is not a preview of what New England’s coaching setup will look like during the upcoming season.

But there were a few notable observations to take away from Wednesday’s announcement:

— The Patriots have yet to officially announce O’Brien’s hiring as offensive coordinator, but he’ll be making the trip to Vegas with the team.

— Several big names are not on New England’s Shrine Bowl staff. Neither Matt Patricia nor Joe Judge is featured, putting their future with the franchise in question. There’s also no Nick Caley, whose contract reportedly is up, or Steve Belichick.

Belichick is a surprise. It’s been unclear how or if his role will change following Mayo’s contract extension and apparent promotion. He and his wife are expecting their fourth child, however, which could explain his absence.

UPDATE: Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston reported Belichick is, in fact, on the Patriots’ Shrine Bowl staff, calling his omission “an oversight by the Shrine folks.”

Defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington also is absent, but he’ll be working as a defensive coordinator at the 2023 Senior Bowl, which overlaps with Shrine Bowl week. The Shrine Bowl is scheduled for next Thursday, Feb. 2, at Allegiant Stadium, with the Senior Bowl following two days later in Mobile, Ala.

— With Bill Belichick and his top lieutenants serving as supervisors, Brown will have a chance to be head coach for this game, with Douglas coordinating the offense and Pellegrino and Brian Belichick jointly leading the defense.

Douglas is going to be a name to watch in the coming years. He’s coming off his first season as a position coach — and not even a primary one, as he and Brown both worked with wideouts — but already has generated buzz as a possible future head-coaching candidate. You shouldn’t read too much into the position assignments for this game, but it is notable that Douglas will be coaching quarterbacks.

— One lingering question following O’Brien’s return is how much the offensive staff below him will change. Brown, Douglas and Sunseri coaching in this game suggests all three will be retained, though not necessarily in the same roles. Sunseri is coming off his first season as New England’s primary running backs coach.

Patricia, Judge and Caley coached O-line, QBs and tight ends this season, respectively.

— Jones is the lone unreported newcomer on this staff. He was a graduate assistant at Arkansas this season, working with the defensive line.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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