Playing Mike Onwenu at right tackle
Onwenu started 17 games at right guard in 2022. But in 2021, he played both right tackle and left guard, so there’s no questioning his versatility. There have to be a few questions about the clarity of the coaching after Tom Brady’s departure.
In Week 7, the Patriots decided Onwenu was the man to stifle the Bills pass rush. A pass rush that Bill Belichick proclaimed the best in the league before the game. The Patriots protected Mac Jones so well in that game that he only saw pressure 21.9% of the times he dropped back.
What that means for the future is anyone’s guess. Trent Brown seems set to leave in free agency, and Onwenu is one of 3 other Patriot linemen out of contract in March. Onwenu could fill Brown’s spot on the left next season if he chooses to re-sign. Or they could draft Olu Fashanu.
Losing two tackles in free agency would seem a nightmare scenario for an offense that struggled. But with a new offensive coordinator in charge, a fresh start might be what’s needed.