Assistant special teams coach Ray Ventrone leaving Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Continuity has been one notable theme of the New England Patriots' offseason when it comes to their coaching staff, with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia the lone staffer to officially land elsewhere as Detroit Lions head coach. But another defection is imminent.

As first reported by Alex Marvez of the Sporting News, assistant special teams coach Ray Ventrone is leaving the Patriots. He is expected to be hired by the Colts.

Ventrone had served as Joe Judge's assistant for each of the past three seasons.

While the Patriots have had an assistant special teams coach each of the past six years, they haven't always officially filled that position on Bill Belichick's staff. In 2011, they went solely with Scott O'Brien as special teams coach, the last time they went the solo route after doing it consistently early in Belichick's tenure.

In 2017, the Patriots finished third in Rick Gosselin's special teams rankings, which have been cited by Belichick as a solid barometer to measure a unit's effectiveness.