How much will Patriots' offensive coaching staff change in 2024? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Want a sense of how much work Jerod Mayo has in front of him this offseason? Check out the "Coaching Staff" section of the New England Patriots' website.
Mayo is featured as the new head coach -- with no other coaches listed. "The coaching staff for 2024 will be announced at a later time," the page reads.
That blank slate is symbolic of the change that could be coming in New England this offseason following the departure of Bill Belichick, who ran a unique football operation for 24 years. We could see the most change on offense, with 2023 offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien off to Ohio State and a formal OC search underway to improve a unit that tied for last in the NFL in points per game (13.9) last season.
OC isn't the only offensive coaching position New England has to address, however. On the latest Patriots Talk Podcast, Patriots Insiders Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry highlighted one position group in particular that will be in focus this offseason after underachieving in 2023.
"Where they do need an experienced and really kickass coach is on the offensive line," Curran said. "We haven't spent one freaking syllable on that, have we? We haven't talked about it at all.
"Is Adrian Klemm coming back? Is Billy Yates a good offensive line coach? He's been here for three or four years. You get intermittent bouts of competency there, but he's also had guys around him who have also shared the position, whether it be Joe Judge or Matt Patricia or Bill Belichick. ... That to me is kind of sneaking under the radar."
While Klemm was hired as the Patriots' offensive line coach less than a year ago, the Boston Herald's Andrew Callahan and Doug Kyed reported that some league sources don't expect him to return in 2024. Yates has been an assistant offensive line coach in New England since 2021, but to Curran's point, he's never run the position group on his own, with Belichick himself even taking on more of a role last season after Klemm left the team due to a health issue.
So, it's very possible that Mayo brings in a new offensive line coach in 2024 -- perhaps someone who has a relationship with whoever the team hires at OC.
The Patriots reportedly have interviewed four candidates for their OC opening: Los Angeles Rams tight ends coach Nick Caley, Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson, Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher and Seattle Seahawks OC Shane Waldron, who since has taken the Chicago Bears' OC job. Caley and Robinson, who both have Patriots ties, are intriguing candidates, with Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer suggesting they could be a package deal.
"I think it’s possible the Patriots hire one of these 'riser' types as coordinator, with a senior offensive assistant backstopping him," Breer wrote Tuesday.
Elsewhere on the offense, it appears Troy Brown will return as wide receivers coach in 2024 given that he's representing the Patriots at the Senior Bowl on Feb. 3. But turnover seems likely at tight ends coach -- Will Lawing has worked with O'Brien at four different coaching stops -- while the futures of running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri and assistant quarterbacks coach Evan Rothstein could be in jeopardy as well based on who Mayo brings on as his OC.
"Those assistant coaches are going to work hand-in-glove with the offensive coordinator, so does Troy say, 'How come I'm not the offensive coordinator?'" Curran added. "There's a lot to plow through in these positions when you have an incumbent coach on the staff now elevating to the head coach and he has to make decisions about guys he's worked alongside."