Patriots Talk: What New England needs in its next offensive coordinator

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What the Patriots need in their next offensive coordinator originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The number one priority for the New England Patriots this offseason is to get the offense back on track. It starts with finding a new play-caller to replace Matt Patricia.

As our Tom E. Curran wrote, changes are expected to be made to the coaching staff after Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick discussed that topic during their year-end meeting. There are several candidates for the Patriots' de facto offensive coordinator position, but what qualities should Belichick be looking for to fill that role?

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On a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Curran is joined by Phil Perry and Matt Cassel to discuss what New England needs in its next OC.

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"There is the opportunity or the potential for Bill Belichick to sort of open himself up more to potentially like a new set of people or potentially trust someone new. Because we saw that style has its limitations when you are losing coaches every single year," Perry said. "So if you are dead set on only having people that you would trust your life with on your coaching staff, if they do a good job and they leave, the cupboard is going to be pretty bare pretty quickly. I feel like that's sort of where we've gotten to.

"The priority for the hire -- and this is why Bill O'Brien, to me, should be the frontrunner -- is making sure you put Mac Jones in the best position to succeed. Meaning utilizing his strengths, having answers for problems that come up and having somebody who is experienced in answering those problems that come up and giving players the tools that they need in real-time."

Cassel echoed Perry's thoughts on allowing Jones to play to his strengths.

"At the line of scrimmage, when something doesn't look right, giving him the ability to check out of it. Giving him more range at the line of scrimmage," Cassel said. "Because we saw that as the year went on that he was making adjustments at the line of scrimmage, whether it was protection or signaling routes. That's something he recognizes and processes really well at the line of scrimmage and it's something that can be a benefit for this offense moving forward if you get the right scheme in place. ... I think for Mac Jones and what most of his strengths are, that is something that would help him going forward."

Also discussed in the episode: How did Belichick’s meeting with Robert Kraft go? What's the best style of offense to complement Mac Jones? Is the Patriots job an attractive one for an established coach? And NFL awards and picks for this weekend.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube.