The shuffling among the Patriots’ coaching staff continues.
Patriots wide receivers coach Mick Lombardi will join Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas to become the Raiders’ offensive coordinator, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday. McDaniels is also taking Patriots offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo for the same role with the Raiders, Schefter added.
Lombardi was speculated by insiders as a candidate and one of the top internal candidates to replace McDaniels as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator after he became the head coach of the Raiders. Lombardi, 33, has had two different stints with the Patriots. He was first 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 running backs and kick returners coach in 2020 before becoming wide receivers and kick returners coach in 2021.
But Lombardi’s departure continues to add questions on how the Patriots will replace McDaniels. The Patriots re-hired Judge as an offensive assistant on Tuesday and tight ends coach Nick Caley remains on staff. Both have been speculated by insiders as candidates to assume offensive play-calling duties but not hold the offensive coordinator title.
Former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who was thought to be a lead candidate for the role, has given “no indication” that he’ll leave his role as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, according to Nick Saban.
Bricillo, 45, assumed full offensive line coaching duties in the 2021 season after co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich was let go after reportedly not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Bricillo joined the Patriots’ staff in 2019 as an assistant and began coaching the offensive line in 2020. Popovich recently accepted a job at Troy University to become its offensive line coach, potentially ruling him out 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 of the coaches leaving for Las Vegas, longtime running backs coach Ivan Fears is reportedly expected to retire this offseason.
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