The Patriots will be down another man on their coaching staff for the rest of the 2023 season.

Ross Douglas, New England’s co-wide receivers coach, left the team over the weekend to take a new position at Syracuse.

The Orange had yet to announce Douglas’ hiring as of Tuesday afternoon, but the 29-year-old will serve as their receivers coach and will have a “significant role in the offense,” according to a report Saturday from ESPN’s Pete Thamel. The Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan reported Douglas’ role was described as a “coordinator-type role.”

No Patriots assistant will be affected more by the young assistant’s departure than New England’s other wideouts coach, Troy Brown, who shared his thoughts on the move Tuesday.

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“It was great working with Ross,” Brown said in a video conference. “(He’s) very knowledgeable, knew a lot of people and knew a lot of stuff about offense and defense. So, it was good having him over there to be able to learn that terminology and that type of stuff and know what they were thinking on certain stuff. It was good to bounce stuff off him and then get his input, as well.

“But I’m happy for him. I know he wouldn’t have taken the job if it wasn’t something he wanted to do, so hopefully he’s happy. I’m pretty sure he’s happy; he’s taking the job. But he’ll be missed around here.”

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Douglas spent three seasons on the Patriots’ coaching staff, working as a defensive quality control coach in 2021 before shifting to receivers in 2022. He’s the first Patriots assistant to leave for a new job midseason since former quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who departed late in the 2020 campaign to become head coach at Arizona.

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Brown, who also coaches New England’s kick/punt returners, said his role will change slightly with Douglas gone.

“One thing I learned about since I played here in New England is always be ready for sudden change,” the Patriots Hall of Famer said. “Either on the field, in the classroom, at practice or whatever. So, it’s not anything that I’m not used to. You’ve just got to step up and be able to try to fill his shoes and his responsibilities and move on from there.”

He added: “I think everybody’s got to just step up and do a little bit more in their roles. Just pick up the slack. There’s responsibilities that he had, and we’ve all got to figure out a way to get it done. So far, it’s been going pretty good.”

Despite being one of the NFL’s youngest position coaches, Douglas was viewed as a fast riser. He appeared on a prominent list of future head-coaching candidates in each of the last two years, and he had an opportunity to experience a larger role last offseason when he served as offensive coordinator for the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl.

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Patriots OC Bill O’Brien is confident Brown can lead New England’s receiving corps himself for the final four weeks of the season.

“There’s certain things that you have to do that Ross had responsibility for, whether it was coaching or scouting report things, or whatever it is,” O’Brien said. “But Troy’s here, so there were really two guys coaching that position. Troy does a lot for us, so we’ll be able to pick up the slack there. Will Lawing, Billy Yates, Vinnie Sunseri, Evan Rothstein — we all kind of chip in, and everybody has a little part and role in everything that we do. We work pretty well together, so we’ll just pick up the slack as we move forward.

“But congratulations to Ross, and I’m sure he’ll do a great job at Syracuse.”

A former wide receiver, running back and defensive back at Michigan and Rutgers, Douglas’ move back to the college ranks reunites him with Fran Brown, who recently was hired as Syracuse’s new head coach. Douglas and Brown overlapped at Rutgers in 2020 when the former was a graduate assistant and the latter was the Scarlet Knights’ defensive backs coach.

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The Patriots already had to adjust to one coaching absence, as offensive line coach Adrian Klemm has been away from the team since early November for health reasons. It’s unclear whether Klemm will be able to rejoin the team before the end of the season.

With New England eliminated from playoff contention and fielding one of the league’s least productive offenses, odds are we’ll see more coaching changes before the 2024 campaign kicks off in September.

Featured image via Zack Cox/NESN