On Tuesday morning, the New England Patriots hired Bill O’Brien to be the next offensive coordinator, and he fits the bill perfectly. I really do not care that this is a former Patriot staffer, as I think O’Brien is a near-perfect candidate for the OC job.
Part of what makes a successful offensive coordinator is their ability to develop quarterbacks. The quarterback is the most important position in sports, and if a team doesn’t have won, they should not expect success.
Over his career, O’Brien has shown a strong ability as an offensive mind and does have a bit of quarterback development under his belt. In 2011, he was named the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, and that same year, the team made it to the Super Bowl with third highest scoring offense in the NFL.
This year was also one of the best statistical seasons from Tom Brady. They scored 32.1 points per game. A few years later, O’Brien became the head coach of the Houston Texans. Before Deshaun Watson came into the picture, O’Brien did field competent enough offenses to go 27-21 as head coach in the ’14-’16 seasons.
They also won a playoff game in 2016 as well.
I’d also venture to guess that he played a large part in Watson’s development as a passer. Watson quickly became one of the most exciting and efficient passers in the NFL, and it’d be weird to not credit O’Brien with some of that.
He was fired in 2020, in large part due to his moves as the de-facto GM of the Texans, so that doesn’t really apply in his new situation. He then went to Alabama as the offensive coordinator, and while he was working with a bunch of top-tier, five star players, the Crimson Tide sixth in points scored in 2021 and fourth in 2022.
Bill O’Brien will be able to help this offense and Mac Jones go to where they want to be. His experience in working with and getting solid production out of young quarterbacks is there, and I don’t see how it’s going to change in New England, especially since he’s a former staffer and knows the “Patriot Way” pretty well.
Outside of maybe hiring someone like Frank Reich, I’m not sure the Patriots could have gotten this hire more correct.