The New England Patriots have a new OC
The New England Patriots have finally found a replacement, an Alabama assistant coach, for former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. McDaniels took the Las Vegas Raiders head coaching job last offseason. The Patriots declined to name an offensive coordinator and had various coaches chipping in last season.
The change in coaching philosophy was a failure for Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ offense last season. According to the Patriots, the “brain drain” and new offensive approach produced the worst offense in New England since 1995:
“According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA efficiency metric, New England’s offense had its worst season since 1995 following longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel’s departure. After 13 seasons in two different stints with the team, McDaniels became the head coach of the Raiders, taking top assistants Mick Lombardi (WRs/OC) and Carmen Bricillo (offensive line) with him to Las Vegas. Along with the McDaniels-led exodus, the Pats have also recently lost legendary O-Line coach Dante Scarnecchia and running backs coach Ivan Fears to retirement. The brain drain in Foxborough would’ve been difficult for any organization to overcome.”
New offensive leader
According to a statement by the New England Patriots, Bill O’Brien has been hired as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Patriots hire Bill O'Brien as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach: https://t.co/D5StcYwStQ
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 26, 2023
O’Brien was on Belichick’s staff with the Patriots from 2007-11. He was their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2011. O’Brien has since been a head coach for Penn State and the Houston Texans. His Texans stint ended in disaster, and he was fired in 2020. O’Brien then became the offensive coordinator for Alabama under Nick Saban, who has close ties with Belichick.
O’Brien had mixed success with Alabama. Alabama won the SEC Championship and narrowly lost the national title in his first season. But the Crimson Tide arguably underperformed on offense this season with a likely first-round draft pick at quarterback Bryce Young.
The team was left out of the College Football Playoff as a result. Many Alabama fans were happy to see he might be leaving to join the Patriots. O’Brien can redeem himself as a coach by elevating the Patriots’ offense back to championship standards.
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