FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have hired Chad O'Shea as receivers coach and Jason Licht as director of pro personnel.
Chad O'Shea is entering his 14th coaching season and his seventh NFL season. He spent the last three seasons as offensive assistant/wide receivers for the Minnesota Vikings (2006-08), assisting Minnesota's offensive coordinator and the Vikings' wide receivers coach. Last season, Minnesota wide receiver Bernard Berrian ranked second in the NFL with an average of 20.8 yards per catch and the Vikings offense led the NFL with 13 touchdown passes of 20 yards or longer. In 2007, the Vikings offense tied a team record with 19 plays of 50 yards or longer.
O'Shea's first NFL experience came with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he served as a volunteer special teams assistant in 2003 and as assistant special teams coach for two seasons from 2004-05. In 2003, Kansas City had an NFL-best four special teams touchdowns while leading the NFL in both kick return and punt return average. The following season, the Chiefs set a team record for kick return yards (1,820) as Dante Hall returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
Prior to entering the NFL, O'Shea spent seven years coaching in the college ranks at the University of Houston (1996-99) and Southern Mississippi (2000-02). He played quarterback at Marshall University for two seasons (1991-92) before finishing his playing career at the University of Houston (1994-95).
Jason Licht (pronounced LIGHT) is entering his 14th NFL season and re-joins the Patriots personnel department after previously spending four seasons (1999-2002) with New England. Last season, Licht served as a personnel executive for the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals after spending five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles as vice president of player personnel (2006-07) and assistant director of player personnel (2003-05).
Licht first joined the Patriots personnel department in 1999 as a college scout. In June 2001, he became the team's national scout, responsible for evaluating top college prospects and NFL players. After the Patriots Super Bowl XXXVI championship in February 2002, Licht was promoted to assistant director of player personnel, a position he held through the 2002 season.
During Licht's five seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles reached the NFC Championship Game three times and won the 2004 NFC Championship, representing their conference against the AFC Champion Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Licht began his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, serving a two-year stint in South Florida from 1995-96. In his first season in Miami, he was an assistant in the college and pro personnel departments, and in 1996 served as an offensive assistant/quality control coach. In 1997, he worked for National Football Scouting, a college football scouting service, and in 1998 served as an area scout for the Carolina Panthers.
Licht was an all-conference defensive tackle at Nebraska-Wesleyan from 1993-94. He was originally a walk-on at the University of Nebraska and played linebacker on the freshman team in 1989, then switched to guard and earned a letter in 1991 before transferring.