The New England Patriots announced changes to their coaching staff today. Quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien has been named offensive coordinator, a role he unofficially has had for the past two seasons. Bill Belichick elected not to name coordinators last season, and was the unofficial defensive coordinator. O’Brien was calling the offensive plays on game days but was not officially the offensive coordinator. Belichick has gone this route in the past. Josh McDaniels started off calling the plays as quarterbacks coach after Charlie Weiss left and was eventually named offensive coordinator.
The changes didn’t stop there.
Matt Patricia, who served as linebackers coach and was originally a leading candidate to be defensive coordinator, will now be taking on a new role as safeties coach. He will replace Corwin Brown, who will not be back with the team. Patricia bring stability to the position from a coaching standpoint, as the group has had four position coaches in the last four seasons. The Pats have invested some time and money into the position with the contract extension James Sanders received last season and early draft picks Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung. It makes sense to have a familiar coach take over the position, as Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston points out. Defensive assistant coach Patrick Graham will now assume the role of linebackers coach, and assistant coach on offense/special teams Brian Flores has been promoted to defensive assistant coach.
The Patriots will likely announce another coaching change soon. Mike Woicik, the Pats’ head strength and conditioning coach, has interviewed with the Dallas Cowboys because his contract has expired. He is expected to be leaving the Pats to take that position with the Cowboys under new head coach Jason Garrett. Assistant strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash is expected to be promoted to head strength and conditioning coach should Woicik sign with Dallas.