The Patriots are bringing back this former offensive coordinator
After the 2022 season, it was evident that New England needed to make changes to the offense. Matt Patricia took over as offensive coordinator, and that ended up making Mac Jones regress significantly from his rookie year. Mac Jones ended the season with 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. The offense was extremely stagnant and it was clear Matt Patricia was not the long-term solution to Josh McDaniels.
What The Patriots Are Getting
The Patriots are getting an experienced offensive mind as coordinator, something that New England did not have this year. Bill O’Brien was the former head coach of the Texans. Bill O’Brien had five winning seasons with the Texans, with mostly underwhelming quarterbacks. Ultimately, his decision to trade Hopkins for David Johnson and a pick, and a stagnant start to the next season got him fired. However, O’Brien is still a terrific offensive mind and brings some much-needed offensive expertise to New England. Bill O’Brien had a large role in developing Deshaun Watson into a star.
Bill O’Brien was also with Mac Jones at Alabama. They briefly worked together when O’Brien was serving as offensive coordinator. Bill O’Brien also previously worked with New England. His role ranged from position coach to offensive coordinator. O’Brien saw a lot of success working with New England, and in 2011 the Patriots were ranked third in scoring and second in yards
Bill O’Brien was also able to implement a two-tight-end system very effectively, which is something he can hopefully do with Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. His brief yet successful experience with Mac Jones was very promising, and based on his track record O’Brien should have success developing Mac Jones. Overall, New England got a very experienced coordinator who will help take this offense to the next level.
Could Bill O’Brien Bring His Staff?
While there haven’t been reports on if O’Brien will bring a quarterback coach, there have been reports that Bill O’Brien may bring Doug Marrone who could be a potential offensive line coach. Marrone is a very experienced offensive line coach, and he’s close with Bill O’Brien. Bringing in both O’Brien and Doug would be great additions. Marrone has been an NFL coach for over five years, and he was the offensive line coach for Alabama.
New England had a massive problem at the offensive line, however, they still did have good talent there. Marrone may be able to bring the best out of them and get New England to be the elite offensive line they once were. It seems, however, that the Patriots are first considering other options, and their interview of Adrian Klemm for the position brings another promising candidate into the fray.
Future Of The Patriots
While the Patriots do not have the elite talent of other top contenders, they have lots of depth and pieces that could be very productive with an experienced coordinator. With Josh McDaniels, New England was a fringe top-ten offense in Mac’s Rookie year. This shows that New England does have the potential to be a very good offense, they just need an experienced coordinator to bring it out of them.
Pieces like Kendrick Bourne and Devante Parker were constantly underutilized on the Patriots’ offense. Bourne finished 2021 with 800 yards, but he wasn’t given an opportunity to build off of that performance. Matt Patricia barely used him up until the end of the year. In the few stints Bourne got, he was very productive. Notably receiving for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals. Parker was very inconsistent in 2022, and part of that is due to injury. When Parker did play, he would either not be involved at all, or have a terrific game. Matt Patricia was unable to make Bourne or Parker a consistent producer, despite Bourne’s dynamic playstyle and Parker’s big presence was needed.
As far as Patricia and Judge are concerned, their former roles in the Patriots’ organization were certainly promising places for them, and a return could benefit both them and the Patriots. Patricia can assist Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick on the defensive end, while Judge can replace Cameron Achord to help rescue a special teams unit that committed a litany of execution mistakes.
Mac Jones should see the development many expected from him this year. Mac showed potential all year but was hindered by a poor offensive line and coaching. Bill O’Brien has a track record of developing talent well, and Mac should break out with his scheme. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith should also see more production, especially because it was O’Brien’s era when the Patriots saw a rise in two tight end sets on offense. Overall, the Patriots get an experienced, respected coordinator that can make their offense efficient again.
Follow StadiumRantHQ on Twitter. Check out our other articles @Stadium Rant. Are you an NFL fan? Have some takes you want to get out into the world? This is the place because we have plenty of opportunities at Stadium Rant spanning the whole NFL and more!