Patriots

NFL rumors: Patriots d-line coach Bret Bielema leaving to join Giants

NFL rumors: Patriots d-line coach Bret Bielema leaving to join Giants

Bret Bielema's stay with the New England Patriots was brief.

The Patriots defensive line coach is leaving to join the New York Giants coaching staff, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

Bielema, who joined the Patriots staff in 2019, will re-unite with Joe Judge in New York. Judge was hired as Giants head coach earlier this month after spending most of the last decade as a special teams coach for the Patriots. Bielema is the second Patriots defensive line coach in as many seasons to leave the team. Brendan Daly left the Patriots shortly after Super Bowl LIII to become the Kansas City Chiefs d-line coach.

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Bielema has many years of coaching experience, mostly at the college level. He was the head coach of Wisconsin from 2006 through 2012, and then he took charge of the Arkansas program from 2013 through 2017. 

His exit isn't the only coaching news involving the Patriots. New England reportedly has hired one of its former practice squad players, Vinnie Sunseri, in a support staff role.

Bill Belichick shows up to Senior Bowl wearing epic visor

David Ortiz says leaving Patriots wouldn't impact Tom Brady's legacy

David Ortiz says leaving Patriots wouldn't impact Tom Brady's legacy

Over the past 20 years, Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest and most beloved athletes in Boston sports history.

But if Brady leaves New England for a new team in free agency this offseason, would that leave a stain on his Patriots legacy? Fellow Boston sports legend David Ortiz doesn't believe so.

The former Red Sox slugger recently spoke with Rob Bradford of WEEI.com about Brady's impending free agency. According to Ortiz, leaving Foxboro behind ahead of his age-43 season won't take away from anything Brady has accomplished with the Pats in the past two decades.

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"His legacy has already been built. It’s always there," Ortiz told Bradford. "That’s not the problem. His problem is not going to be legacy. He could go and play somewhere else for the next 10 years when he returns to New England his legacy is going to be there.

"It’s a good thing to do but you also have to look at your options. I hope he stays with the Patriots, but it’s not up to what I say. It’s his decision. Sometimes an offer at home might be a couple of million less than what you could get on the road. It’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it."

Brady will officially become an unrestricted free agent if he and Patriots don't agree to a contract extension by March 18. Several teams are expected to be in the mix to sign the six-time Super Bowl champion, with the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders as two of the most likely destinations.

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Report: Patriots to add Alabama assistant as special teams assistant

Report: Patriots to add Alabama assistant as special teams assistant

The Patriots reportedly have made a signing as NFL free agency approaches.

No, not THAT one.

New England will add Alabama assistant Joe Houston as an assistant special teams coordinator, according to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and FOX Sports.

The Patriots lost special teams coach Joe Judge -- who also doubled as wide receivers coach this past season -- to the New York Giants, where he became head coach. With Houston added as a special teams assistant, it could mean the Patriots could promote Cam Achord, a special teams assistant the past two seasons, to oversee special teams. Achord took on a larger role last season with Judge adding receivers to his responsibilities.

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Houston spent last season on the staff of Bill Belichick pal Nick Saban at Alabama, a familiar breeding ground for Patriots players and coaches. He's a former kicker at USC (2009-10) who gained a reputation as a "kicking whisperer." during his tenure as special teams coach at Iowa State.

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell told the Des Moines Register: “He’s maybe the best kicking coach in the country.”