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Patriots surprised by familiar face to kick-start offseason program

New England Patriots players returned to Gillette Stadium on Monday for Day 1 of the voluntary offseason program, and there was a familiar face waiting to greet them upon arrival.

That face belonged to special teams legend Matthew Slater.

The 10-time Pro Bowler officially announced his retirement from football back in February. So what was he doing with the Patriots on the first day of their voluntary workouts?

Many have already taken to social media in hopes that the team has carved out a coaching role for the future Hall of Famer. However, there’s also the possibility that Slater was simply hanging around and supporting the team.

The best case scenario is Slater getting an itch for coaching and choosing to serve in a mentoring role for the Patriots. At the very least, that would mean New England wouldn’t have to say goodbye to the “awww yeah” team breakdowns in the locker room.

Jerod Mayo is already taking inside linebackers coach Dont’a Hightower along for the ride in his first ever head coaching opportunity. Could Slater be next?

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire