Albert Breer: Joe Judge will remain on Patriots staff in new role

Breer: Joe Judge will remain on Pats staff in different role originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Despite the hiring of Bill O'Brien as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, it appears the New England Patriots plan to bring Joe Judge back for the 2023 NFL season.

Judge was hired as the Patriots' QB coach ahead of the 2022 campaign. He and fellow offensive assistant Matt Patricia were highly criticized for the team's shortcomings on offense and the regression of second-year QB Mac Jones.

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In a bombshell report from the Boston Herald, it was revealed Jones "didn't like" Judge "at all" and many in the locker room were irked by Judge's approach. But rather than parting ways with Judge, Bill Belichick is expected to reassign him, according to The MMQB's Albert Breer.

"My understanding is Joe Judge is going to be on the 2023 staff in a different role," Breer said Thursday on Early Editon. "He's not going to be coaching the quarterbacks, but he does have a role carved out. He'll be making the trip to Las Vegas (for the East-West Shrine Bowl) tomorrow. I think the other supervisory people are going tomorrow. Bill went (Thursday) and Bill O'Brien and Jerod Mayo I believe will go (Friday) as well.

"I think there's still value for Joe Judge on the staff. He's a good football coach. I think this was just a sort of different situation he was put in that maybe he should've had some self-awareness and not taken the job, but I think he was doing the best he could. And Matt Patricia's status I think is a little more up in the air. I don't think you'll see him in Vegas over the next few days."

If Judge does return in a different role, what would that role be?

"TBD. I have an idea of where that might shake out, but nothing's final yet," Breer answered.

Our Phil Perry warns that bringing Judge back in a prominent role could add another blemish to Belichick's résumé.

"Obviously, what happened last year didn't work," Perry said. "If you're ownership, obviously it was pretty clear based on the release they sent out -- unprecedently so -- a couple of weeks ago that they were going to be searching for an offensive coordinator and that this person was going to have the title. Unprecedented, right?

"So ownership is now invested in making sure that things change, and things will change with Bill O'Brien on the staff. But if Joe Judge is on the staff and it's in a critical role, and things don't go well again, how does that reflect not on Joe Judge, but on Bill Belichick?"

Breer believes Belichick wants to show his loyalty to Judge -- and possibly Patricia -- after putting his longtime assistants in a tough spot.

"I think Bill Belichick feels responsible for a lot of what happened on offense," Breer said. "And I do think that Belichick had more involvement in play-calling than anybody knows. And so, I think there is a feeling that Matt Patricia's taking a bullet here and has taken a bullet for a lot of stuff that there were multiple people involved with.

"I think on Bill's part, there is at least a little bit of an effort to do right by Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, who he put in a very difficult position in 2022. We know they aren't going to be in the roles they were in last year, but he's got loyalty to those guys and I do think those guys add some value to the organization."

For the full "Early Edition" segment with Breer, watch the video below: