Troy Brown Among Patriots’ Potential Replacements for Joe Judge

troy brown

Getty Troy Brown (right) and Tom Brady.

The New England Patriots special teams unit has been one of the best and most effective in the NFL for the past few seasons.

From talented players like Matthew Slater and Nate Ebner making plays to several other role players on different sides of the ball joining forces, former coordinator Joe Judge had a lot of personnel to work with during his time with the Patriots. But now that he’s gone, who will take over for Judge.

The Patriots not only have to replace Judge on the special teams’ side but also as wide receivers coach. The Patriots’ wide receivers struggled all season though the number of injuries and lack of continuity at the position made consistent production difficult.

As for who could step in to take his place next season, a few notable names come to mind.

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Troy Brown

The Patriots already have the perfect candidate to help replace Judge on the staff. Though he wasn’t officially a coach this year, Troy Brown served as a special assistant during the 2019 season and worked with the wide receivers to help the trio of rookies develop.

During his 14-year career with the Patriots, Brown was Tom Brady’s first go-to receiving target and was a reliable force on all three sides of the ball. His receiving ability stood out the most and with teams using more former players as positional coaches over the past few years, Brown as wide receivers coach wouldn’t be an outlandish thought.

Brown also returned punts for much of his career and could help out on special teams as well, taking on a pair of responsibilities much like he did as a player. Oh, and he also played defensive back very effectively late in his career too.

Cameron Achord

The current assistant special teams coach of the Patriots, the obvious solution would be to elevate Achord to the lead role if he stays behind in New England. Achord is in his first NFL coaching job and just wrapped up his second season.

So if Achord is to be elevated to the role, something Joe Judge experienced just three years into his tenure, he would need a valuable assistant who knows the team and NFL special teams well, like Troy Brown.

Matthew Slater

Name a more qualified player in the NFL to immediately become a coach? Slater is a free agent and has been a natural leader on and off the field and he transcended the gunner position in the NFL during its dying days.

Slater knows a thing or two about how to operate on special teams and his background as a wide receiver and safety could allow him to be a good assistant on Belichick’s staff. He’s already gained the trust of the coaching staff and the players as a perennial captain, but having Slater as a coach would be a real asset for the Patriots.

Jeff Banks

Among the outside candidates to replace Judge, the Patriots may take a similar route as the last time they needed a new special teams coordinator. Judge joined Belichick’s staff after a few seasons at Alabama and it wouldn’t be out of the question for Belichick to tap into close friend Nick Saban’s staff again.

Banks has spent the last seven seasons as a special teams coordinator in the SEC, including the last two at Alabama. He has consistently led one of the nation’s best units in punt return and net punting yards.

Also in charge of tight ends, he developed Irv Smith Jr. and Hale Hentges into NFL-ready talents. The Patriots could use a fresh mind at tight end after putting up the league’s worst performance at the position in 2019.

Brett Munsey

As poor as the Redskins performed in 2019, their special teams unit ranked sixth in the NFL as whole last season. Though the team announced they would be retaining special teams coordinator Nick Kaczor, assistant Brett Munsey has been waiting in the wings for years.

He has head coaching experience in the Arena Football League and was Director of Player Personnel for the Florida Tuskers of the short-lived UFL from 2009-10. Munsey has worn many hats and appears to be ready to take command of an NFL special teams unit.

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