The reshuffle within the Patriots coaching staff continues.
Patriots wide receiver coach Mick Lombardi will join Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas to become the Raiders’ offensive coordinator, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday. McDaniels is also taking on Patriots offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo for the same role with the Raiders, Schefter added.
Lombardi has been speculated by insiders as the candidate and one of the top internal candidates to replace McDaniels as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator after becoming the Raiders’ head coach. Lombardi, 33, has had two different stints with the Patriots. He first served as a scouting assistant with the team for two seasons beginning in 2011. He returned to New England in 2019 to become an assistant quarterbacks coach and was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2020.
Troy Brown is an obvious candidate to replace Lombardi’s role on the staff. The former Patriots player joined the coaching staff in 2019, assisting then wide receivers coach (and special teams coordinator) Joe Judge. He was promoted to coach running backs and kick returners in 2020 before becoming coach wide receivers and kick returners in 2021.
But Lombardi’s departure continues to add questions about how the Patriots will replace McDaniels. The Patriots rehired Judge as an offensive assistant on Tuesday and tight ends coach Nick Caley remains with the team. Both have been speculated by insiders as candidates to take on offensive play calling duties but do not hold the title of offensive coordinator.
Former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who was considered a primary candidate for the role, has given “no indication” that he will step down as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, according to Nick Saban.
Bricillo, 45, assumed full offensive line coaching duties during the 2021 season after co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich was fired after apparently not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 19. Bricillo joined the Patriots staff in 2019 as an assistant and began coaching the offensive line in 2020. Popovich recently accepted a position at Troy University to become its offensive line coach, potentially preventing him from to return to New England.
Patriots assistant quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree is also joining the Raiders to become their quarterbacks coach, according to multiple reports earlier in February.
In addition to all the coaches leaving for Las Vegas, longtime running backs coach Ivan Fears is set to retire this offseason.
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