Following their end-of-the-season meeting, it would appear as if New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick are on the same page about the offense needing changes in 2023.
Don’t expect any public announcements, however, as that really isn’t Belichick or Kraft’s style to do that sort of thing.
As is often the case in the day after the regular season finale, many coaches have been let go by programs, and teams have begun their search for replacements. It is likely that Matt Patricia and Joe Judge remain with the Patriots, but they could be reassigned.
As expected with any coordinator, Belichick will likely need to give control of the offense over to the new coach. During player evaluations, it should be a more collaborative approach between Matt Groh, Belichick and the coordinator, if the candidate is not a “Belichick guy.”
Likely, Patricia could remain with the offensive line, and Judge could replace Cam Achord as special teams coordinator.
With the Patriots desperately in need of finding a true offensive coordinator and staff to successfully prepare Mac Jones and company for 2023, these candidates could be calling the shots next season.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kliff Kingsbury is an intriguing option for the Patriots and has been regarded of one of the bright offensive minds in the NFL. It’s worth noting that not every offensive coordinator succeeds as a head coach. So any issues with his coaching history should be taken with a grain of salt.
Kingsbury knows how to run an NFL offense and can “challenge” Mac Jones, which is something the second-year quarterback was clamoring for all season. Another attractive quality is that he is being paid by the Cardinals until 2026. Belichick surely loves to bring those coaches in, while giving them the duty without the title.
If it takes the offensive coordinator title to bring Kingsbury to New England, the Patriots may have to fork up some money and control to allow Kingsbury to run the offense his way.
John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports
O’Brien has been the number one rumored choice the entire 2022 season, as he has familiarity in New England with Belichick, the Krafts and Mac Jones. O’Brien is also a head coaching candidate to replace Belichick when he decides to retire, regardless of how bad of a general manager he was in Houston.
Let’s hope he has learned his lesson.
O’Brien has had experience with Mac Jones’ style of offense, being the Alabama OC in 2022. He has seen success at multiple levels, and is clearly a choice both Nick Saban and Belichick would vouch for.
He is also the path of least resistance for New England, as it’s a match made in heaven. The proof is already there. He knows how to run an offense, and he’s a Belichick guy.
Belichick will have to pay him, but O’Brien can take the reins and make the smoothest transition. He could also have stipulations to overtake Belichick when he is ready to step away, as he is someone the Krafts have familiarity with, which is a true win-win for everyone involved.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Caley is becoming a hot commodity across the league, and there have even been rumors of him being asked to jump to the offensive coordinator role as early as next season for other franchises. Caley is currently the Patriots’ tight ends coach, but he would be an easy transition for the team as an in-house option.
There has been buzz about giving him a shot at play-calling for a few years now, and he could be one of the bright young coordinators in the league the Patriots could target as their next head coach.
There is also a familiarity with Mac Jones, as Caley has seen Jones in action for a few years now. The only hope is the Patriots do Caley right by naming him offensive coordinator to give him the power, title and control he would need to improve the offense.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Chad O’Shea is currently the Browns’ passing game coordinator, but he has had experience in New England. O’Shea was the Patriots wide receivers coach from 2009-2018, winning three Super Bowls with the team.
He was the offensive coordinator with Miami in 2019 and joined the Browns in 2020. He has experience that varies across the league, but he has familiarity with Bill Belichick and the offense that highlights Mac Jones’ best skills.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Zac Robinson was actually selected by Bill Belichick in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL draft, and he has since had a good history of developing, scouting and coaching quarterbacks.
He has helped quarterbacks prepare for the NFL draft and worked as Pro Football Focus’ primary college and NFL quarterbacks evaluators from 2016-2019.
In 2021, we saw Robinson take on a larger role as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, which he has held for the last two seasons. He gets a brunt of the credit for helping quarterback Matthew Stafford get acclimated to the Los Angeles Rams offense.
Robinson is a bright mind that knows how to get the most out of young quarterbacks, and he is someone the Patriots need in New England—a coach that represents the new age of football that can bring Mac Jones into the modern NFL.
With Sean McVay’s future unclear, Robinson will be a highly-touted offensive mind for many teams, even if he isn’t the offensive coordinator. If the Patriots wish to take their team to the next level, Robinson may be someone to take a shot with.