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#pounditTuesday, June 6, 2023

Report: Patriots exec wants Bill Belichick to hire 1 specific coach

Bill Belichick during a game

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks on the field before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots just wrapped up their second losing season in the past three years, and it sounds like their front office is putting some pressure on Bill Belichick to make certain changes.

In an unprecedented move for the franchise, the Patriots put out a statement on Thursday saying they are negotiating a long-term extension with assistant coach Jerod Mayo while also searching for an offensive coordinator. That type of transparency is something we have rarely seen out of New England during the Belichick era. The announcement may have signaled a shift in the power dynamic with the Patriots.

According to Mike Giardi of NFL Network, there is at least one “very influential voice” in the Patriots’ front office who “definitively” wants Belichick to bring back former offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

The idea of O’Brien returning to New England has been floated as a possibility since last offseason. He worked as an offensive assistant under Belichick for five seasons from 2007-2011. O’Brien was the Patriots’ OC in 2011 before he was hired as the head coach at Penn State.

O’Brien spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Alabama, but his contract has expired. The Patriots are in desperate need of a real OC after Belichick’s decision to hand playcalling duties to Matt Patricia — his former defensive coordinator — predictably backfired.

O’Brien worked with Mac Jones two seasons ago, which is another reason he is viewed as such a strong fit in New England.

One potential issue for the Pats is that they could face some competition if they want to hire O’Brien.


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