How Joe Judge's departure impacts Patriots' coaching staff

Ryan Hannable
January 07, 2020 - 2:37 pm
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The Patriots will have to replace at least one coach this offseason, but that comes with two positions.

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Special teams and wide receivers coach Joe Judge has reportedly been hired as the next head coach of the Giants, so this means at minimum the Patriots will have a new special teams coach and wide receivers coach in 2020.

When it comes to special teams, it seems pretty simple.

Cameron Achord has been with New England as the assistant special teams coach for the last two seasons and feels like a natural to take over as the lead special teams coach. Bob Fraser, a first-year coaching assistant, appeared to spend a lot of time with the special teams group, so he could move up and replace Achord. Or, the team could potentially look outside the organization.

At wide receiver, there isn't a natural in-house solution.

A name that immediately comes to mind is Chad O'Shea, who was recently let go in Miami by Brian Flores. O'Shea was the Patriots' wide receivers coach from 2009-18, so there's plenty of familiarity there. If Josh McDaniels stays in New England, this may make a ton of sense.

Troy Brown helped Judge out over the course of the year, so he's certainly a possibility. But, at this point, he may be best served in a role similar to this season.

An outside-the-box in-house option could be director of player personnel Nick Caserio, assuming he stays with the team in 2020. He served in the same role in 2007, but did not do the personnel stuff at the same time. Now that he's been around for so long and attends practice every day, maybe this is something he could take on.

If McDaniels takes the Cleveland job and does not return, perhaps whoever the new offensive coordinator is may have a name or two in mind and then he would become an option.

The Browns likely will make their head coaching hire by the end of the weekend/early next week, so that will give the Patriots a better idea of what their 2020 staff is going to look like. Aside from McDaniels maybe going there, Dante Scarnecchia and Ivan Fears potentially could retire, and if that happens the team will also need to add an offensive line coach as well as running backs coach.

Last offseason the Patriots had to completely rework the defensive coaching staff, this offseason it looks like it will be the same on the offensive side.

Related: Giants reportedly hiring former Patriots WR/ST coach Joe Judge as next head coach