Bret Bielema was fired as the head coach at Arkansas in November and hasn’t officially taken a job anywhere since then, but unofficially he’s been working with the Patriots, and it appears he is heading toward a permanent role on the staff.
Bielema was working with the Patriots in the run-up to the NFL draft, and Field Yates of ESPN reports that Bielema has continued to work with the team and will be involved in coaching this weekend’s rookie minicamp.
The often-secretive Patriots have not announced anything about Bielema joining the coaching staff, so it’s unclear what role he is filling.
Bielema was head coach at Arkansas for five years and at Wisconsin for seven years. Prior to that he was defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State and linebackers coach at Iowa. He is likely to have some role on the defensive side of the ball, where the Patriots have not announced a replacement for the departed defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Brian Flores is expected to call the defensive plays for the Patriots.