Jerod Mayo has been seen as the early favorite to take over as head coach of the New England Patriots after the eventual departure of Bill Belichick, but Bill O'Brien might be a better choice. Belichick bringing back O'Brien was a lovely move, and just because the offense showed a bit of struggle in their first preseason game does not mean that will carry over into the 2023 NFL season.
I do think BOB is going to get this offense back on track to an extent, but I also think the lack of high-end playmakers (pending Demario Douglas) is going to keep the unit from reaching its full potential. Even those Jerod Mayo has largely been seen as the favorite to take over, I think Bill O'Brien is probably the better candidate.
In today's NFL, the paradigm has shifted a bit. Now, the best offenses are usually the ones playing in late January and February. Gone are the days where a team needs an elite defense to win a Super Bowl. Sure, defense will always be extremely important, but it doesn't have nearly the value as it once did. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 2022 with the 16th ranked scoring defense, and the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl in 2021 with the 15th ranked scoring defense. However, both teams had a top seven scoring offense.
While O'Brien isn't an elite offensive mind, he's a good one, and what sticks out to me the most is his work with younger quarterbacks and being able to develop them. When Deshaun Watson came into the league in 2017, he quickly got a hold of developing into an NFL QB. In fact, during his time when paired with O'Brien, Watson threw for 104 touchdowns, 36 interceptions, and earned a passer rating of 104.5 in the regular season with O'Brien.
O'Brien's stint as OC of the Patriots back in 2011 was very successful. The offense ranked third in points scored second in total yards and had one of the best passing attacks in the NFL that year. Furthermore, O'Brien served as an OC at Alabama for a couple of years, working with Bryce Young and developing him into one of the most efficient passers CFB has had in a while and the eventual #1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Let's face the facts: Bill O'Brien is not Kyle Shanahan, Andy Reid, Sean McVay, or Sean Payton, but he's got a solid track record as a head coach and offensive mind between pro and college football, so he might be the best option for the New England Patriots to replace Bill Belichick. The league is shifting, and we're seeing less and less defensive-minded coaches get shots at being a HC.