Update 1/25/2023: Patriots finalize coaching staff for East-West Shrine Bowl, exclude Matt Patricia and Joe Judge
The East-West Shrine Bowl, which will be coached by the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, announced the two teams’ staffs on Wednesday.
While the arrangements are not final as far as the 2023 season is concerned, they do give us a glimpse into where the Patriots currently stand as far as their staff is concerned. What a look at the coaching roster shows, however, is that there is significant movement when compared to the roles filled on the 2022 staff:
- Supervisory roles: Bill Belichick, Jerod Mayo, Bill O’Brien
- Head coach: Troy Brown
- Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Ross Douglas
- Running backs: Evan Rothstein
- Wide receivers: Vinnie Sunseri
- Assistant offensive line: Billy Yates
- Tight ends: Tyler Hughes
- Co-Defensive coordinator/Defensive line: Mike Pellegrino
- Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers: Brian Belichick
- Assistant defensive line: Keith Jones, Joe Kim
- Cornerbacks: V’Angelo Bentley
- Supervisor Special Teams: Cam Achord
- Special teams: Joe Houston
- Head supervisor assistant: Berj Najarian
The Patriots’ leading coaches — head coach Bill Belichick, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and presumptive assistant head coach Jerod Mayo — are all filling supervisory roles on the Shrine Bowl staff. The other members of New England’s roster of coaches, meanwhile, are all getting experience in different capacities (with the exception being assistant offensive line coach Billy Yates).
The most notable among those are arguably offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ross Douglas, assistant defensive line coach Keith Jones, and cornerbacks coach V’Angelo Bentley.
Douglas, a former defensive back, worked with New England’s wide receivers in 2022. Now, he’s getting even more opportunity to grow his knowledge on that side of the ball. Jones, meanwhile, was not on the Patriots’ staff last year and is apparently being added either in a tryout capacity or an assistant role. Bentley, on the other hand, served on an NFL coaching fellowship and is now apparently being added to the staff in a more prominent capacity.
The biggest names, however, might be those that are not listed. Linebackers coach and de facto co-defensive coordinator Steve Belichick will not serve a role on the Shrine Bowl staff, with his brother Brian instead coaching linebackers.
Also nowhere to be seen are Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, who jointly led the Patriots offense in 2022. There is some question about their future with the organization, especially after the addition of Bill O’Brien. They might transition into different roles but their absence is still an ominous sign in light of last year’s issues on the offensive side of the ball.
Original story 1/25/2023: Patriots’ East-West Shrine Bowl coaching staff is taking shape
The New England Patriots made a big addition to their coaching staff on Tuesday, hiring Bill O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator. How quickly the 53-year-old will take over the role remains to be seen, though, given that the move has not yet been officially announced.
While that appears to only be a formality at this point in time, it seems unlikely that O’Brien will be overly actively involved in the next big event on the Patriots’ schedule: the East-West Shrine Bowl this coming week.
New England’s staff will be coaching the West team between Saturday and Jan. 28, and Thursday, Feb. 2. With head coach Bill Belichick serving in a consulting role during practices and the actual college all-star game, his assistants will do most of the work.
What the group will actually look like in light of the O’Brien hiring remains to be seen. Recent reports by ESPN’s Mike Reiss and the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan, however, indicate that the staff for the East-West Shrine Bowl has already been decided upon:
- Head coach: Troy Brown (Wide receivers/Kickoff returners)
- Offensive coordinator: Ross Douglas (Wide receivers)
- Defensive coordinators: Mike Pellegrino (Cornerbacks), Brian Belichick (Safeties)
Unless the Patriots opt to make some last-second changes with O’Brien set to come aboard, those assignments can be seen as a sign that all of these coaches will be back with the team in 2023. The statuses of Mike Pellegrino and Brian Belichick were not in question, but the same was not entirely true for Troy Brown and Ross Douglas.
New England’s wide receiver group, after all, fell short of expectations in 2022 — just like the entire offense under de facto coordinators Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. The team did in fact interview two wide receiver coaches as part of its search for a new OC in Minnesota’s Keenan McCardell and Arizona’s Shawn Jefferson, but there is no indication at the moment that either of them will be brought aboard at this point in time.
That does not mean that Brown and/or Douglas will be back in 2022. The initial assignments as reported, however, point towards them returning for the 2023 season.
Of course, that might still change once the O’Brien hire and any potential follow-up moves become official. For the upcoming East-West Shrine Bowl, however, it appears New England will use the Brown-Douglas combo as part of its main coaching lineup.
The Patriots’ staff will be joined by the Atlanta Falcons’. The team of head coach Arthur Smith will coach the East team.