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Pats Pulpit Reacts: Patriots earn high grades for hiring Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator

O’Brien will serve as New England’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

NFL: Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have a new offensive coordinator, and the selection did not come as a surprise: Bill O’Brien, who already held the position back in 2011, was hired for the dual role as OC and quarterbacks coach.

It remains to be seen how big of an impact the 53-year-old will have on a unit that at times looked highly uninspired in 2022. However, expectations are sky-high for O’Brien to fix the broken offense as well as its third-year quarterback, Mac Jones.

A look at the latest SB Nation Reacts numbers shows this.

Patriots fans were asked to grade the O’Brien hire, and the number speak for themselves: 55 percent of participants in the survey gave the move an A, with 37 percent giving it a B. Only 6 percent handed out a C grade, followed by 1 percent each of Ds and Fs.

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The O’Brien hire earning high grades such as these should not come as a surprise, and is something that needs to be viewed through the lens that was the 2022 season.

In Year 1 after long-time coordinator Josh McDaniels, the Patriots offense was handed over to assistant coaches Matt Patricia and Joe Judge as part of what was described as a “collaborative effort.” The plan of letting the rather inexperienced Patricia and Judge run the offense — their backgrounds are on defense and special teams, respectively — backfired and the unit and its QB took a step back in 2022.

Any kind of change would likely have received some positive grades from fans, but O’Brien in particular was a popular target going all the way back to last offseason. His experience in the system and past success as a play-caller on offense made for an encouraging mix.

Add the fact that he has some prior connection to Mac Jones — the two spent some time together during the 2021 offseason — and you get why fans give New England high grades for this move.

We also asked the Pats Pulpit community for its take on the offensive coordinator question. Here are some of the answers we got:

Pats Fan stopping by:

As Howie Carr would say....he was chosen after a nationwide search.....

This was in the bag from day one.

I don’t like it but it is what it is.

Victor Kermit Kiam’s Close Shave:

Retread. BB’s almost autistic insistence on hiring the familiar and only making a change after Kraft’s prodding just shows the inverse relationship between his ego and the Pats future win totals. Still better than Rocket Boy, though!


I’d call it a B.

Low risk, low upside choice. Some new young guy might have turned out to be a genius, or a disaster, at least with BOB we can expect competence which is a substantial step up from last year.


I’m basically pleased. He’s a proven commodity, not a flashy young hot shot but someone who will improve the offense and presumably help get Jones back on track.

Predictably, the sports media has suddenly decided that he sucks, is a stupid hire, and won’t help the Patriots at all. Before, he was an in-demand candidate that was sought after by multiple teams. Now that the Pats have hired him, he sucks. There truly are no words to describe how much I absolutely loathe the sports “media” and their team cheerleaders disguised as analysts.

Grogan’s Heroes 86:

This was a good move. BoB has track record of being a good OC. He is also not a ‘re-tread’ as his last couple years being exposed to the (SEC) collegiate game can only have added to his deck.

But the best reason is because it eliminates the ‘Matt vs. Mac, whose fault is it’ debate and now this year we see if Mac sinks or swims.


B to B+.

You have to recognize that BB was never going to go out on a limb and a lure away a Shanahan disciple for example. Not in his DNA. So given the choices I like this.

Would have maybe given a higher mark depending on how the rest of the O staff fills out. If Klemm comes in as OL coach that is a good start IMO, fresh outlook etc. Now if we can add another WR coach from the outside with a fresh look I think we are going somewhere. Maybe Troy Brown becomes Return specialist/WR assistant. It seems he really shines on the return side.

Welsh Patriot:

B. But I’m just basically happy that they are sorting out the coaching staff on Offense and I hope but am not exactly holding my breath…..on Special Teams.


BoB (re)joining the team is effin great.

MD Pats Fan:

“At least it’s not Patricia” is basically my mantra for this.


It’s not a bad hire. But it doesn’t seem likely to bring any dramatic changes to the types of plays that the Patriots run or the overall look of the offense. I’m hoping it does bring back the smarter/more disciplined execution though. There was a sloppiness to the Patriots offense in terms of pre-snap penalties and turnovers that reminded me a bit of the Raiders, i.e., can’t get out of their own way.


We had a house without a roof ... the house now has a roof. No matter the state of the roof, that is a big improvement.

Lurker Von Troll:

One positive I can see: BoB’s last year here as OC, he was able to use his Tight Ends. Gronk and He Who Must Not Be Named combined for over 2000 yards and 24 TD’s. Hopefully he can get something out of Henry & Jonnu.


The one thing that is concerning is Alabama fans seem happy that he is gone...


Can’t wait to see that big butt chin out there!!

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