Bill Belichick made a rare candid move on Tuesday when he hired Bill O’Brien as the Patriots’ next offensive coordinator.
The former Patriots offensive play caller is the perfect fit for current Patriots quarterback Mack Jones. This fare checks all the boxes. O’Brien worked in the Patriots’ system from 2007 to 2011. He called the plays for his final three seasons, even though he only held the title of offensive coordinator in 2011.
More importantly, O’Brien comes to the Patriots from the University of Alabama. He has dealt with the demands of Belichick and coach Nick Saban. He has tweaked his offense to please Belichick and Saban.
For Jones, it’s the best of both worlds. That’s why he’s excited about the new coaching hire.
The Patriots are “very” excited about O’Brien coming to New England, according to a source close to Jones.
After a disappointing 2022 campaign, where Belichick made the wrong move by putting Matt Patricia in charge of play calling and Joe Judge in charge of quarterback, the Patriots head coach has corrected course and prepared his young quarterback to succeed.
To make this situation even better, O’Brien and Jones have a pre-existing relationship. Back in 2021, when he was hired at Alabama, O’Brien briefly overlapped with Jones during the pre-draft process. he told alabama media that quarterback helped him learn Alabama’s offense.
“I think the most challenging thing for me when I came here was learning this offense,” O’Brien said ahead of the 2021 Cotton Bowl, “And I had a lot of guys that helped me, guys that were here before, guys on the coaching staff, obviously Bryce [Young], I’ve said it before, Mac Jones, he helped me out a little bit when he was working on the draft, which was great.
“So I’m really grateful to those people. It was the most challenging thing because I’d been involved with a crime for 10 to 15 years, whatever, similar crime. But when you come here, you’re going to be in Alabama crime.” You’re not bringing your crime up here. And it’s a big crime with a great history. And it was really cool to learn, but it was very challenging.”
O’Brien first learned Josh McDaniels’ system, now he can mix and match the Patriots’ former system and Alabama’s current offense. This should create an offense that is best suited for Jones’ skill set.
As we saw during his 2021 rookie season, Jones’ best attribute is his mind and accuracy. He’s the kind of quarterback who can read the defense and take advantage of various holes in coverage. He also throws an accurate pass and a catchable ball, which has been admired by receivers past and present.
Last year, Jones worked hard in the off-season to improve his throwing mechanics and arm strength. He also worked with Tom Brady’s throwing coach Tom House. On the field, Jones showed more arm strength, but the coaching staff’s desire for him to throw the ball deep also resulted in more interceptions.
O’Brien needs to find a sweet spot where Jones can use his accuracy, decision making and superior arm strength in a way that best suits the Patriots’ offense.
For Jones, it marked his third-different offensive play caller in the NFL. That’s not ideal for a young quarterback, but it is ideal for this player. At Alabama, Jones played under Steve Sarkisian (2019–2020), Mike Locksley (2018) and Brian Dabol (2017).
O’Brien has said in the past that Saban told him that each offensive coordinator puts a spin on Alabama’s offense that best suits their quarterback at the time.
“He’s talked to me about how it’s evolved over time and how each coordinator has put their own touch on it,” O’Brien said during Alabama’s 2021 Media Day, “But at the end of the day, it’s Alabama’s offense, and when they went from a pro style to more of a spread style when Coach Kiffin was here and then obviously Coach Locksley and Coach Dabol and obviously Coach Sarkeesian last year Plus, it’s evolved over time with all these great offensive minds that have been here.
“Every year is different. I think in the end, it comes down to who your players are, what they can do best, who your quarterback is, what he can do best and what’s best for the team.” Is.
At this point, it appears that O’Brien is the best for the Patriots and Jones.