Does Patriots Coaching Shrine Bowl Hint At 2023 Coaching Plans?

The Patriots drafted four Shrine Bowl alums last year


Jan 11, 2023

The New England Patriots won’t be participating in this year’s NFL playoffs, but their coaching staff is staying busy.

The Patriots were one of two teams selected to coach draft prospects at the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl, a source told, confirming a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Atlanta Falcons will be there, as well.

The Shrine Bowl, held at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium the week before the Super Bowl, was a popular Patriots pipeline last season. Second-round wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, fourth-round cornerback Jack Jones, fourth-round running back Pierre Strong and sixth-round defensive lineman Sam Roberts all were Shrine Bowl alums, as were undrafted rookie signees LaBryan Ray and D’Eriq King.

By having their coaches on site, the Patriots will get an up-close, hands-on look at this year’s crop of prospects as they construct their 2023 draft board. But their presence also raises questions about what their staff will look like next season.

The Shrine Bowl selected its two coaching staffs based on draft order, and teams making head coach or coordinator changes were excused. The Patriots, who own the 14th overall pick, did not have official coordinators on either side of the ball this season, but there have been loud calls for head coach Bill Belichick to implement a new offensive leadership structure after New England regressed sharply under the direction of first-time play-caller Matt Patricia and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge.

Does this mean the Patriots don’t plan on hiring a new OC during the lead-up to the Shrine Bowl, which is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 2? Will they wait until after the college all-star game to make staff changes? Do they intend to keep the existing setup in place for 2023? Or will this have no bearing on Belichick’s offseason decisions?

The Shrine Bowl organizers earlier the week announced that head coaches — in this case, Belichick and Atlanta’s Arthur Smith — will “serve as supervisors, allowing others on the staff to possibly coach up a level or to coach a new position.”

The Patriots’ potential draft needs — which will evolve based on how they approach veteran free agency — include offensive tackle, wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker and safety.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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