BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are going a bit outside of the box in hopes of boosting their pass rush.
Looking to give their pass rushers a few more moves in their arsenal, the Patriots are reportedly hiring martial arts expert Joe Kim as a pass rush consultant, according to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin. Kim is a Cleveland-area Taekwondo master who has worked with 10 other NFL teams since 1992, when Bill Belichick gave him his first job in football (then with the Cleveland Browns). Kim most recently worked with the Browns in 2016, when he coached now-Patriots defensive tackle Danny Shelton.
In reuniting with Belichick, Kim will now help Patriots defensive linemen with their hand-to-hand combat skills, which should be valuable when battling along the line and in the trenches. The Globe notes that he’ll also help pass-rushing linebackers such as Dont’a Hightower.
The New England pass rush finished the 2017 season with a respectable 42 sacks, tied for the seventh-most in the NFL, but was usually absent in critical moments. After getting to the quarterback 11 times in their first two playoff games last season, including eight sacks against Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota in the divisional round, the Patriots did not record a sack on Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles in New England’s Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles.
Along with Kim’s tutelage, the Patriots should have a better cast of characters taking aim at quarterbacks in 2018. They signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who recorded 9.5 sacks last season and has 30 over his seven-year career, and traded for Shelton to add another big body along the defensive line. They also have 2017 third-round pick Derek Rivers returning after a torn ACL ended his year in the preseason, and Hightower will be back after being sidelined since late October with a torn pectoral.
In addition to his three stints with the Browns, Kim has also worked with the Redskins, Bears, Chiefs, Giants, Brocons, Bills, Packers, Cowboys and Dolphins.