Joe Judge is sticking around for the 2023 season, and his role on the Patriots’ coaching staff will be broader than the one he held in 2022.
Though his official title has yet to be announced, Judge will serve as an assistant head coach beneath Bill Belichick, according to a report Thursday from Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
Per Breer’s sources, Judge will “work closely” with special teams coaches Cam Achord and Joe Houston and also will handle certain unspecified personnel-related duties. The role reportedly will have “some parallels” to the one Matt Patricia held in 2021 as a “senior football advisor,” but it won’t be identical.
“Judge’s job will be more in coaching special teams, being a liaison between coaching and scouting, ect.,” Breer tweeted.
Judge and Patricia jointly led the Patriots’ offense last season, with the former specifically coaching quarterbacks. New England nosedived offensively under their purview, ranking near the bottom of the NFL in most statistical categories. Shortly after the season ended, Belichick hired Bill O’Brien as the team’s new offensive coordinator.
A January report from the Boston Herald detailed, among other critiques, Judge’s poor relationship with starting quarterback Mac Jones. This shift will realign the 41-year-old coach with his area of expertise, as Judge ran or helped run the Patriots’ special teams from 2012-19 before leaving to become head coach of the New York Giants.
The Giants fired Judge last offseason but still are paying him through the 2024 campaign.
Judge, Achord and Houston all were part of the small coaching contingent the Patriots sent to the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. The Patriots’ special teams ranked dead last in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ DVOA in 2022, and they must find a new punter after cutting Jake Bailey ahead of free agency.
It’s unclear where Patricia will coach this season, and in what capacity.