Report: Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears expected to retire


The New England Patriots could lose more than Josh McDaniels from their coaching staff this offseason.

The veteran offensive coordinator reportedly is expected to become the Raiders' next head coach, and Las Vegas already has hired Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler as its new general manager.

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It doesn't end there for New England, though. Running backs coach Ivan Fears could be leaving the team to retire.

ESPN's Mike Reiss reported an update on Fears' future in a story posted Sunday:

"From running back Damien Harris' emotional words on the sideline (captured by NFL Films), to former Patriots assistant Brian Daboll's postgame embrace outside the locker room on Jan. 15, to Belichick referencing his exemplary mentorship in his season wrap-up videoconference ... it should only be a matter of time before longtime Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears announces his retirement after 31 NFL seasons and 25 with the Patriots," Reiss wrote.

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Fears just completed his 20th season as Patriots running backs coach since re-joining the team in 1999. He has spent 31 seasons as an NFL coach, including 25 with the Patriots over two stints in New England.

The veteran coach has been instrumental in the success the Patriots have enjoyed at running back. He's done a great job maximizing the production of players such as Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk, James White, LeGarrette Blount, Damien Harris and many more.

Coaching and front office turnover is common in the NFL, especially for the most successful franchises. The Patriots have been hit especially hard by this turnover in recent years, and if the franchise hopes to build on its improvement from 2021, it will needs to hire some really good people to fill these open roles.

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