The New England Patriots staff will be coaching next week in Las Vegas at the East-West Shrine Bowl. This will give the team an up-close look at some of the top prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.

On Wednesday, the Shrine Bowl announced the coaching position lineup for the West team, which is being run by the Patriots.

It’s noteworthy for several reasons.

First, although the Patriots haven’t officially announced the hiring of Bill O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator, O’Brien is on the list of Patriots coaches. He’ll coach at the Shrine game in a “supervisory role” alongside Bill Belichick and Jerod Mayo.

Earlier this offseason, the Patriots announced they were in contract discussions with Mayo. Although it hasn’t been reported that a new deal has been finalized, the fact that Mayo will be in a role similar to Belichick and O’Brien suggests he’ll hold a new title with the Patriots in 2023.

The Patriots’ coaching alignment at this All-Star exhibition game is notable for other reasons. There are five Patriots assistant coaches who are not on the Shrine Bowl coaching staff. That includes Matt Patricia, Joe Judge, Steve Belichick, Nick Caley and DeMarcus Covington.


Covington will be the defensive coordinator at the Senior Bowl, so that’s why he won’t be in Las Vegas. Caley’s contract with the Patriots is up. He interviewed for the Patriots’ offensive coordinator job and the New York Jets offensive play caller job.

The other three omissions are interesting.

The absence of Patricia and Judge could be an indication that they won’t be back with the Patriots. Both were being paid by other teams last season – Patricia by the Detroit Lions, Judge by the New York Giants. Judge was the patriots’ quarterbacks coach, but is still owed money by the New York Giants for the next two seasons. The Lions no longer have any financial obligations with Patricia.

With the arrival of O’Brien, he possibly could serve as quarterbacks coach along with his offensive play calling duties. Those roles were filled by Patricia and Judge last season.

It’s also noteworthy that the Patriots reportedly brought in offensive line coach Adrian Klemm for a second interview this week. It’s another reason to believe that Patricia, who coached the offensive line, won’t be back in New England next season.

Seeing Steve Belichick not on the roster is also interesting. He shared duties with Mayo last season as the Patriots’ linebackers coach. Belichick also called defensive plays.


The West team’s head coach will be Patriots receivers/returners coach Troy Brown. The offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach will be Patriots receivers coach Ross Douglas.

On defense, there will be two coordinators. Patriots safeties coach Brian Belichick will be the defensive coordinator/linebacker coach, while Patriots cornerback coach Mike Pellegrino will be the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach.

ROB GRONKOWSKI is a big fan of the Patriots bringing back Bill O’Brien, saying he loved playing for O’Brien when Gronkowski was starting out his career with the Patriots.

“I love Bill O’Brien. I loved playing for him,” Gronkowski said. “I love the energy that he brings to the table. He has that niche to get you to go out and play your best football, get you fired up, to get you to want to go out on the field and get better every single day and make big plays.”

Gronkowski played under O’Brien in his first two NFL seasons. By the second year, Gronkowski had already emerged as one of the NFL’s best tight ends, catching 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011 – all of which were career highs.

Gronkowski praised O’Brien as a coach on and off the field, saying that the coordinator will steer the Patriots’ offense back in the right direction.

“His football knowledge is through the roof,” Gronkowski said. I believe that he’s definitely gonna restore the Patriot faithful on the offense side of the ball … I think they’re definitely gonna improve as an offense tremendously under coach Bill O’Brien. That’s who the Patriots had to get. They had to get Bill O’Brien.

“That’s who they needed to get to restore to back in the old day where they were at on the offensive side of the ball, and they got their guy,” Gronkowski added.

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