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Patriots announce coaching staff appointments

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have announced new appointments on their coaching staff. Scott O'Brien has been hired as special teams coach, Bill O'Brien has been named quarterbacks coach and Josh Boyerhas been named defensive backs coach.

Scott O'Brien will enter his 19th NFL season in 2009, and spent the last two seasons as the Denver Broncos' special teams coordinator. He served as the special teams coach on Head Coach Bill Belichick's staff with the Cleveland Browns from 1991-95. O'Brien was named the NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year by his peers in 1994.

O'Brien has previously served as special teams coach for four NFL teams - Cleveland (1991-95), Baltimore (1996-98), Carolina (1999-2004) and Denver (2007-08). Additionally, he took on added responsibilities as Carolina's assistant head coach for his six-year tenure with the Panthers and also spent two seasons (2005-06) with the Miami Dolphins as coordinator of football operations/assistant to the head coach on Nick Saban's staff.

In 16 seasons as an NFL special teams coach, O'Brien's units have produced 29 special teams touchdowns - including 17 punt returns for touchdowns, nine kickoff returns for touchdowns, one fake field goal for a touchdown, one blocked punt for a touchdown and one blocked field goal for a touchdown. He has helped six different special teams players earn a total of 10 Pro Bowl berths and has coached players to the Pro Bowl in eight different seasons.

O'Brien spent the last two seasons as the Denver Broncos' special teams coach. During his tenure in Denver, the Broncos converted four walk-off game-winning field goals and had three different players earn AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Over six seasons from 1999-2004, O'Brien served as the Carolina Panthers' assistant head coach/special teams, presiding over a unit that produced 11 special teams touchdowns during that period while allowing the lowest opponent kickoff return average (19.8) over that span.

O'Brien began his NFL coaching career when Belichick hired him to coach the Cleveland Browns' special teams in 1991. During O'Brien's five seasons with the Browns (1991-95), Cleveland tied for the NFL lead with eight special teams touchdowns while also becoming the only NFL team to not allow a special teams score over that span. Under O'Brien's tutelage, Cleveland punt returner Eric Metcalf earned Pro Bowl honors in 1993 and 1994 while leading the NFL with four punt returns for touchdowns over those two seasons.

When the Browns franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens in 1996, O'Brien remained with the club and served for three more seasons (1996-98) as special teams coach. Baltimore had six special teams touchdowns in those three seasons, including four on punt returns.

O'Brien played linebacker at Wisconsin-Superior and following his collegiate career he was signed to contracts by the Green Bay Packers and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He got his start in coaching at his alma mater, working as an assistant coach at Wisconsin-Superior from 1980-82. He went on to coach linebackers and special teams at UNLV (1983-85) and Rice (1986), and also served a four-year stint (1987-90) as the special teams coach at the University of Pittsburgh before entering the NFL in 1991.

Scott O'Brien's Coaching Capsule

Years Team Position
1980-82 Wisconsin-Superior Assistant Coach
1983-85 Nevada-Las Vegas Linebackers/Special Teams
1986 Rice University Linebackers/Special Teams
1987-90 University of Pittsburgh Special Teams
1991-95 Cleveland Browns Special Teams
1996-98 Baltimore Ravens Special Teams
1999-2004 Carolina Panthers Asst. Head Coach/Special Teams
2005-06 Miami Dolphins Coordinator of Football Ops/Assistant to the Head Coach
2007-08 Denver Broncos Special Teams Coordinator
2009 New England Patriots Special Teams

Bill O'Brien, who served as New England's wide receivers coach last season, will enter his third season with the Patriots in 2009. In 2008, O'Brien coached a Patriots wide receivers unit that included Pro Bowler Wes Welker, whose 111 catches ranked second in the NFL and were the second highest single-season total in franchise history, and Randy Moss, who led the AFC with 11 touchdown catches. O'Brien began his NFL career as a offensive coaching assistant for the Patriots in 2007, working closely with Josh McDaniels, who served as the Patriots' offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach. O'Brien joined the Patriots after coaching 12 seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference, including tenures at Georgia Tech (1995-2002), Maryland (2003-04) and Duke (2005-06).

O'Brien completed a two-year tenure at Duke as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2005-06. He joined the Duke coaching staff after spending two seasons as the running backs coach at the University of Maryland. In his first season with the Terrapins in 2003, Maryland finished second in the ACC in rushing and defeated West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.

O'Brien spent eight seasons at Georgia Tech (1995-2002), and served as the Yellow Jackets' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in his final two seasons. In addition to his normal duties, he also served as an assistant head coach in 2002 and was Georgia Tech's recruiting coordinator from 1999-2000. He spent his first three seasons at Georgia Tech as an offensive graduate assistant (1995-97) before beginning a three-year stint as the Yellow Jackets' running backs coach (1998-2000). During his two-year tenure as offensive coordinator (2001-02), the team played in a bowl game each season. In 2001, the Yellow Jackets led the ACC in passing and finished third in the league in scoring.

O'Brien is a native New Englander, hailing from Andover, Mass. He attended Brown University in Providence, R.I., where he was a linebacker and defensive end from 1990-92. O'Brien began his coaching career at Brown, coaching tight ends in 1993 and tutoring inside linebackers in 1994.

Bill O'Brien's Coaching Capsule

Years Team Position
1993 Brown University Tight Ends
1994 Brown University Inside Linebackers
1995-97 Georgia Tech Graduate Assistant
1998-2000 Georgia Tech Running Backs
2001 Georgia Tech Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2002 Georgia Tech Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2003-04 Maryland Running Backs
2005-06 Duke Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2007 New England Patriots Coaching Assistant
2008 New England Patriots Wide Receivers
2009 New England Patriots Quarterbacks

Josh Boyer will enter his fourth season with the Patriots in 2009. Boyer spent the last three seasons (2006-08) as a defensive coaching assistant for New England. He joined the Patriots in 2006 after spending six seasons in the college ranks.

After graduating from Muskingum College (Ohio), where he played wide receiver and defensive back, Boyer began his coaching career in 2000 as an assistant coach at King's College (Pa.). He spent the 2001 season as a graduate assistant at the University of Dayton. In 2002, Boyer began a two-year stint as a graduate assistant at Kent State, working under current Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who was the Golden Flashes' head coach at the time. Boyer went on to become the defensive backs coach for Bryant University in 2004 and served as the defensive coordinator for the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2005. He is a native of Heath, Ohio.

Josh Boyer's Coaching Capsule

Years Team Position
2000 King's College (Pa.) Assistant Coach
2001 University of Dayton Graduate Assistant
2002-03 Kent State Graduate Assistant
2004 Bryant University Defensive Backs
2005 South Dakota School of Mines Defensive Coordinator
2006-08 New England Patriots Coaching Assistant
2009 New England Patriots Defensive Backs

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