Patriots Coaching Rumors: Cam Achord Might Not Get Fired After All

New England's special teams were the worst in the NFL

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January 11

If there’s one Patriots coach whose firing felt like a foregone conclusion this offseason, it’s Cam Achord.

You could envision a scenario in which Bill Belichick convinces himself that Matt Patricia and Joe Judge should stick around. They’re his buddies, after all, and they easily could be reassigned to other jobs in the front office/on the coaching staff.

But Achord? The Patriots just had their worst campaign on special teams during the Belichick era, punctuated by a nauseating performance in the season-ending loss to the Buffalo Bills. The group ranked dead last in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. There’s no way he’ll still be in New England next season, right?

Well…

On Wednesday afternoon, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston reported that offensive coaching changes are expected following Belichick and Robert Kraft’s end-of-season meeting. Shortly afterward, Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal published a similar report — while adding an interesting note on Achord.

“No one expects any firings,” Bedard wrote. “It feels like Belichick will move in different direction with offensive leadership, but what he actually does … everyone is in wait-and-see mode.

” … I think Matt Patricia is out as offensive coordinator/playcaller when all is said and done. I think Patricia and Joe Judge ultimately are reassigned within the staff/front office, but no one knows what that looks like. I don’t know anything about Cam Achord’s fate but sources stressed that firings are not imminent. Is that permanent, or just for now?”

Obviously, Bedard left the door open for Achord still to get fired at some point. But Achord might not get jettisoned from Foxboro as quickly as other coordinators have been sent packing this week.

One possibility: Judge gets reassigned to special teams coordinator, a position he held from 2015 through 2019, with Achord being demoted to an assistant. That’s pure speculation, but it also would make sense.

Ultimately, it’s very hard to envision Belichick running it back next season with the same coaching structure on special teams — a unit he takes great pride in. But perhaps a revamped staff still will include Achord after all.

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