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These Underrecognized Patriots Assistant Coaches Are Extremely Key To The Team

These Patriots assistants aren’t getting the recognition they deserve

FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 12: New England Patriots tight ends / fullbacks coach Nick Caley during a preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Washington Football Team on August 12, 2021, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The coaching staff for the Patriots has been a focal point of attention. Still, pretty much all the focus has been on Bill Belichick and his main coordinators, Matt Patricia, Joe Judge, Steve Belichick and Jerod Mayo. However, there are multiple less-recognized Patriots staffers who are playing key roles this year.

Nick Caley

Caley is one of the most experienced Patriots staffers, having been there since 2015, and has won two super bowls with the team and overseen a couple of really special seasons by Rob Gronkowski. This year, he’s been tasked with trying to work with two major 2021 free-agent acquisitions in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

Talent-wise, they have the potential to be the best tight-end duo that the Patriots have had since 2012. Henry’s downfield presence, route-running, and reliable hands contrast nicely with Jonnu’s versatility, dynamic nature, and speed. It hasn’t quite clicked this year, partially due to the offense’s struggles in general. However, against the Colts, they made some serious strides.

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Combining for seven receptions, Henry and Smith were the center of the passing attack axis for the Patriots. Smith was used in tight-end screens that made the most of his speed, and Henry was used downfield, a sign of good things to come. It would be huge for the team if Caley can continue integrating them into the offense.

Brian Belichick

In the circle of Bill and Steve, the fact that there’s a third Belichick on the team is often lost. However, since 2016, Belichick has assisted the defense and is in his third year as safeties coach. This year, the Patriots’ secondary has been nearly impeccable, and the safeties have been a big part. It’s a talented group but not the easiest group to work with because of the variety of skill sets.

There’s the experienced, talented, but now slower McCourty. The ever-so-solid Phillips, the versatile, talented tackling safety in Dugger, and the safety with a linebacker’s build in Peppers. It’s a great group, individually, but bringing those four together and figuring out how to make the most out of them is no easy job, and so far, Brian has done that quite well. The safeties continuing to perform is key to the Patriots’ playoff aspirations.

Moses Cabrera

One of the coaches that’s in the limelight the least is actually one of the most important members of the organization. Cabrera has been an extremely long-tenured Patriots staffer, with five years as an assistant strength and conditioning coach and seven years as the head of strength and conditioning.

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It’s a position that’s behind the scenes, but one thing that’s been understated is the development of Patriots players over the years in terms of their strength, game stamina, and attributes central to performance on the field. Being game-ready and conducting practices in the most productive way possible is something that’s extremely important to Bill Belichick, and strength and conditioning is a huge key to that.

He has a degree in exercise sciences and kinesiology, so he’s clearly qualified and has been coaching strength and conditioning on some level since 2001, and that experience shows via the product on the field. He’s one of Bill’s most trusted staff members and will be key for maintaining fitness throughout the season.

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Written By

I am a scientist at a pharmaceutical company in the boston area, and have a Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT. I am a huge fan of all things Boston sports, from the Patriots to the Red Sox to the Celtics, and can't wait to keep writing about my favorite team! On the side, I also love to sing, play tennis, and rock climb!

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