The New England Patriots have added two more former players to their coaching staff, albeit in relatively minor roles.
As was confirmed by head coach Bill Belichick on Monday, LeGarrette Blount and Aaron Dobson are back in Foxborough via the Bill Walsh Coaching Fellowship. Unlike former UNC Charlotte assistant Rod Ojong, who announced that he would also join the Patriots through the program, Blount and Dobson have some prior experience with the organization.
Blount arrived in New England via trade in 2013. The running back, who had started his pro career in Tampa, went on to spend the better part of four seasons with the Patriots in two stints separated by a nine-month stay in Pittsburgh. All in all, he appeared in 57 regular season and playoff games for the team, registering 3,532 yards from scrimmage and 43 touchdowns and winning a pair of Super Bowls.
Blount earned another championship ring in Philadelphia in 2017, before closing out his career with a one-year stint in Detroit. He officially announced his retirement in 2020.
Dobson joined the Patriots the same year as Blount, but his tenure was less productive. A second-round draft choice, he spent three seasons in New England. While he also won a Super Bowl with the club, he saw action in only 25 games with 55 catches for 731 yards and four touchdowns.
New England released Dobson in 2016, and he ended his career in Detroit and Arizona without appearing in any more games. Since the effective end of his football career in 2017, he returned to his alma mater Marshall to serve as an offensive analyst. Now, like his former teammate Blount, he is back with the Patriots in a temporary capacity.
“I’m glad to have them, it’s great to have them here,” Bill Belichick said about the pair ahead of the Patriots’ first mandatory minicamp practice on Monday. “They’re here to learn, observe, and they’re doing that. So, I’m happy to help them with their coaching careers. I’m sure there’ll be others around, too. Pat [Chung] was here last week. So, yeah, it’s great to have those guys around. … It’s been a while for Dobson. Blount, too. They grow up.”
Blount and Dobson were not the only former Patriots present for Monday’s practice. The team has six ex-players on its regular staff — Jerod Mayo, Adrian Klemm, Troy Brown, Vinnie Sunseri, Billy Yates, V’Angelo Bentley — while Devin McCourty and James White also were there, albeit in more of an observational role.
The Patriots will hold two more minicamp practices this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.