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Joe Judge, Bill O’Brien Patriots Roles Revealed: Who’s Coaching QBs?

By Mike D'Abate,


The New England Patriots coaching staff will apparently look much different in 2023.

FOXBORO — The New England Patriots coaching contingent has arrived in Las Vegas to begin preparations for coaching the West squad in next week's annual East-West Shrine Bowl.

Interestingly enough, their assignments for this collegiate all-star game continue to provide some additional clarity on their potential roles on the Pats staff for the upcoming season — particularly Bill O’Brien and Joe Judge.

Despite having been public knowledge since Tuesday, the Patriots officially announced O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Thursday.

This marks his second tour of duty in New England, where he previously served under head coach Bill Belichick from 2007-11; coaching quarterbacks, calling offensive plays and one official season (2011) as offensive coordinator.

This time around, O’Brien is charged with the duty of repairing what had become a fractured offense under the direction of Judge and ex-play caller, Matt Patricia. In their  lone season at the command post, the Pats offense regressed from one showing significant promise (in 2021) to a subpar unit dwelling among the NFL's bottom teams. The 2022 iteration of Patriots finished 7th-worst in total yards while scoring only 21.4 points per game (17th in the NFL).

In a brief statement, Belichick made it clear that he is happy to have O’Brien back in the fold for the upcoming season.

“I am looking forward to working with Bill again,” Belichick said. “He is an outstanding coach and an asset to our staff.”

Still, the Patriots brain trust realizes that it will require more than one new coach to adequately fix what is ailing their offense. According to a recent report by Jeff Howe of The Athletic, O’Brien will “almost certainly” be joined by other additions to the Patriots staff. He is expected to have some input in any potential hirings on the offensive side of the ball.

The team is expected to interview University of Oregon offensive coach Adrian Klemm for a second time . Despite New England’s hiring O’Brien as the new OC, Klemm is reportedly the favorite to become their new offensive line coach.

Still, O’Brien’s immediate future has taken him to Las Vegas, alongside his colleagues. While he is still multiple weeks away from hitting the practice fields in Foxboro, the 53-year-old will be serving in a supervisory role with the Pats coaches at the Shrine Bowl in his immediate future.

Apparently, so will Judge.

Despite not being listed among the Patriots coaches provided by the organization earlier this week, Judge will in fact be serving in an advisory role, alongside other senior members of the Patriots’ staff.

Having served as New England’s quarterbacks coach in 2022, Judge is facing an uncertain future within the organization. O’Brien’s official installation as the new QBs coach removed Judge from the role, by default. Though the move was expected, it was apparently anticipated, as well. A recent sourced expose, details an icy, and often contentious relationship between Judge and quarterback Mac Jones.

With his days on the offensive staff likely over, many habe speculated that Judge may return to special teams. The 41-year-old previously served as a Patriots’ special teams assistant from 2012-2014, before his promotion to special teams coordinator; a role which he held from 2015 to 2019. Following a year in which the unit profoundly struggled , Judge may lend some much-needed assistance to current special teams coordinator Cam Achord.

Judge was also New England’s wide receivers coach in 2019, a role which is presently held by Troy Brown, with Ross Douglas serving as his assistant.

Though his future is unclear at the moment, his inclusion with the Shrine Bowl staff seems to indicate that Judge will ultimately remain with the Patriots in some capacity in 2023.

Follow Mike D’Abate on Twitter @ mdabateNFL and Listen/Subscribe to his daily podcast: Locked On Patriots

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