Joe Judge excelling in dual coaching roles with Patriots

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Patriots’ Joe Judge is reportedly thriving in dual capacities as the team’s special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach.

While many of the news storylines following the Patriots‘ coaching staff this offseason have focused on all the figures no longer with the organization, very few have discussed the coaches and staffers who still remain with the team.

Obviously head coach Bill Belichick will continue to be the centerpiece of most stories concerning New England’s coaching, but there’s another name that fans should get familiar with if they haven’t already, and that’s Joe Judge.

Judge has been with the Patriots since 2012, so he’s not exactly a greenhorn when it comes to the brains and faces holding court around One Patriot Place. He was a special teams assistant for three seasons before getting promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, a role he’s now held for four seasons straight.

When Chad O’Shea, the wide receivers coach from last season’s team, followed Brian Flores to Miami to become the Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator, Belichick could have looked outside of the organization for O’Shea’s replacement. Instead, he promoted from within, giving the opportunity to Judge – while simultaneously allowing Judge to retain his responsibilities on special teams.

According to Henry McKenna of USA Today’s “Patriots Wire,” that plan is going swimmingly so far… at least if OTAs, minicamp, and the first week of training camp are any indication. McKenna writes that “Judge is exemplifying the Patriots’ philosophy of versatility,” and it sounds as if the players he’s coaching agree with that sentiment.

“It is a whole different world,” special teams ace Matthew Slater told McKenna, speaking on the third phase of the NFL game. “I’m very impressed. It’s certainly a lot. It’s quite the load for him. … But it doesn’t surprise me because of his knowledge of football — his encompassing knowledge of football.”

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Slater is of course the perfect candidate to speak on Judge’s performance thus far. An 11-year veteran who has spent his entire career in New England, he’s also known for being listed as both a wide receiver and a gunner on special teams.