Are the Patriots really an attractive destination for potential OCs? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
If you watched the New England Patriots at all this season, you know the team should be in the market for a new offensive coordinator after the offense sputtered under first-year play-caller Matt Patricia.
Fortunately for them, there are several intriguing OC candidates, including Mass. native Bill O'Brien, former Patriots quarterback Kliff Kingsbury and former Patriots assistant coach Chad O'Shea. But considering the current state of the franchise -- the team went 8-9 in 2022, and it's unclear whether the Patriots will even hand out an official OC title in 2023 -- it's also worth wondering which candidates would want to come to New England to assume play-calling duties.
That's the question our Tom E. Curran posed to Patriots Insider Phil Perry on a new Patriots Talk podcast.
"I think it's always going to be attractive to a degree to Bill O'Brien because of his personal connection to the area and to the team," Perry replied. "With Mac Jones at quarterback, I think this is an attractive job for any coordinator who feels as though Mac Jones has a chance. And I think Bill O'Brien would fall into that category, because he's seen it work. Bill O'Brien has worked with a number of different quarterbacks over the years, Brian Hoyer included, who he's actually had some decent success with."
Curran added that Jones should appeal to any OC candidate seeking to work with a quarterback who plays things by the book, since Jones is an intelligent QB who has shown he can run high-level offenses well with Josh McDaniels in 2021 and with Steve Sarkisian at Alabama in 2020.
"If you like to be a paint-by-numbers offensive coordinator and you like to be the marionette and have an extension of yourself on the field, this is the place for you," Curran added. "If you're a control freak, this is the place for you. If you want to play jazz, Arizona might be your choice."
There's been speculation that Kingsbury could be a good fit in New England after being fired by the Cardinals. But as Perry pointed out, New England might be less appealing to Kingsbury if he's not willing to dive right back into the NFL grind -- especially since Arizona is on the hook to pay him for four more years.
"He's going to be paid, through 2027, a head coach's salary," Perry said of Kingsbury. "Does he need to get right back into the mix and work 20-hour days and work for Bill Belichick with no title as probably the 'offensive assistant'? Let me just put it this way: I wouldn't be surprised if it was hard to convince him to take that job."
If the Patriots need to do some convincing of an OC candidate, they need to do it soon: The Washington Commanders and Tennessee Titans recently fired their offensive coordinators and will be on the hunt for replacements, while other teams could enter the pool as well.
For more insight and discussion from Curran and Perry on New England's coaching predicament, subscribe to the Patriots Talk podcast or watch on YouTube below.