The New England Patriots have a lot of work to due this offseason but one acquisition has been given priority status according to one insider.
NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran wrote that Bill O’Brien is the “primary target” in New England’s search for an offensive coordinator.
“The primary target is former Patriots OC, former Penn State and Texans head coach, former Alabama OC Bill O’Brien,” Curran wrote. “There is unanimity on all sides that O’Brien’s the best person for the job and — while there are other candidates with merit — the familiarity ownership and Mac Jones have with O’Brien and O’Brien’s willingness to return mean it would be an upset if he doesn’t get the job.”
If the Patriots were to bring back O’Brien, it would allow for the offensive coordinator to return to NFL sidelines after a short stint in college football at the University of Alabama. O’Brien has had some success in the college game O’Brien, having helped quarterback Bryce Young win the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore.
It would also ensure that New England has a capable offensive coordinator, compared to the inexperienced Matt Patricia, who has spent most of his coaching career on the defensive side of the ball.
Matt Patricia and Joe Judge Will Affect the New England Patriots Decision
While O’Brien is the “primary target,” the Patriots will then need to make a decision on what to do with Joe Judge and Patricia, who both coached on the offensive side of the ball.
“One tender aspect of O’Brien returning is what happens with Judge and Patricia,” Curran wrote. “Are they still part of the offensive coaching staff? How will they jell with O’Brien if they aren’t reassigned to new roles? O’Brien coached alongside Patricia in his time here. He surely has some relationship with Judge. No doubt there’s some friendship so it will need to be diplomatically addressed so there’s no hard feelings.”
New England Patriots Coach Jerod Mayo Will Receive More Responsibility
Even with the talent that New England is retaining on their coaching staff, there is likely to be some change. The biggest involving Jerod Mayo who is expected to receive an upgraded title of “assistant head coach” once he officially returns to the team according to former Patriots quarterback and current mid-day radio host Scott Zolak.
“But I don’t think it’s just the title,” Zolak said of Mayo. “I think you actually got to put more in charge, you know, as far as you got to see the way you’re going to run all three groups here just in case something would happen to me. You’re the next guy. You’re my hand-picked next guy in charge. That’s the way this thing’s going to go.
“I think this is keeping him around to be the next guy when Bill is done,” Zolak added. “I think that’s where this is headed. Read the room. Not saying I know anything or anything, but I just think it’s a natural progression. And I think you’ve obviously made him enough of an offer with a wink without putting on paper, you’re the next guy.”
The news comes on the heels of the Patriots announcing that they were working with Mayo on a contract extension that kept him in New England for the “long term.”