Could Georgia's Todd Monken be an OC candidate for Patriots? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots need a new offensive coordinator, and the most likely candidate for the job appears to be Bill O'Brien.
Here's what our Patriots insider Tom E. Curran wrote Monday:
"The primary target is former Patriots OC, former Penn State and Texans head coach, former Alabama OC Bill O’Brien. There is unanimity on all sides that O’Brien’s the best person for the job and -- while there are other candidates with merit -- the familiarity ownership and Mac Jones have with O’Brien and O’Brien’s willingness to return mean it would be an upset if he doesn’t get the job."
O'Brien makes a lot of sense. He joined the Patriots as an offensive assistant in 2007 and worked his way up to offensive coordinator for the 2011 season before departing to take the Penn State head coach job. After two years as the University of Alabama offensive coordinator, O'Brien could return to the NFL this offseason.
But he's not the only offensive coordinator from the SEC who's getting attention.
University of Georgia OC Todd Monken is a name to watch. Similar to O'Brien, Monken has enjoyed plenty of success in the college ranks and also has previous NFL experience.
Georgia has won back-to-back national titles and its defense gets a lot of credit for that success, and rightly so -- that unit has sent a lot of players to the NFL.
But the offense also has improved mightily under Monken, and 2022 was perhaps the best example. Georgia's offense dominated TCU in a 65-7 victory in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game earlier this month.
Monken helped quarterback Stetson Bennett become a Heisman Trophy finalist this season. He also aided the development of star tight end Brock Bowers, who is projected to be a high first-round pick whenever he enters the NFL Draft.
Monken just completed the first season of a three-year extension. He made $2 million in the 2022 season, per Seth Emerson of The Athletic.
“They pay me a lot of money. We all know that,” Monken told reporters in late December, per Emerson. “You have to be careful. The grass isn’t always greener, and money isn’t everything. Now, I value getting paid. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t do this for nothing, but the reality is you have to be careful because your happiness is in winning. It’s about winning. It’s the fight song in the locker room. That’s what it’s about. Anybody that says, ‘Hey, I’m at school A, and boy the city is great, I love it. It’s great for my family, and we’re 4-8, and I’m happy as hell.’ That’s not me. I’d rather be winning in Alaska than losing in San Diego.”
Monken sounds pretty happy in Georgia, and who can blame him? The Bulldogs are a powerhouse and could dominate the sport for the foreseeable future. Is that situation really worth leaving for the Patriots or any other NFL offensive coordinator role?