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Joining the Patriots coaching staff was ‘a no-brainer’ for recently-hired Adrian Klemm

Klemm will be working with New England’s offensive line in 2023.

Adrian Klemm is back in New England, 23 years after the Patriots gave him his NFL start. The former offensive lineman, who spent five total seasons with the team, was hired earlier this offseason to coach its O-line moving forward.

Despite having spent the last 18 years away from New England, returning apparently was an easy choice for Klemm.

“It wasn’t a tough decision for me, to be honest. It was a no-brainer,” he told reporters at Gillette Stadium earlier this week. “It was a good opportunity for me to come back and contribute in some small way to a place that changed my life forever. It set the foundation for where I’m at right now in terms of my career, and some things I’ve been able to do for my family in the past and going forward.”

The first draft pick of the Bill Belichick era, Klemm originally arrived in New England in 2000 as the 46th overall pick. While he failed to develop into a regular contributor and struggled with injuries — he appeared in just 26 games with 10 starts — he still earned himself a trio of Super Bowl rings before leaving for Green Bay.

He started eight games for the Packers and was cut ahead of the 2006 season. His release effectively ended his playing career, and prompted Klemm to look elsewhere for an opportunity to stay connected to the game.

He found it in coaching.

Klemm started his career as a coach in 2008 and via SMU and UCLA found his way to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. He spent three seasons with the club working with its offensive line before being granted his exit in December 2021 to take a job at Oregon.

Not even one-and-a-half years later, he is back in the NFL — and in a familiar environment.

“There are a lot of places where it’s just ‘rah-rah.’ There’s not a lot of substance to it,” Klemm said about New England. “This is a place that takes a tremendous amount of pride in bringing the right type of guys and teaching. I want to be a teacher, and not just a coach, and not just a motivator.”

Klemm is now taking over a position group that had its ups and downs in 2022. Coached by the rather inexperienced Matt Patricia, who also filled in as play-caller, as well as assistant Billy Yates, the Patriots offensive line fell short of expectations just like the entire offense as a whole.

The new O-line coach, however, is looking forward and using the same “clean slate” mindset new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien spoke about.

“Just look at those guys, not what they did but what they can do,” he said “It’s, ‘How can they help us and in what way and what combination?’ There’s a foundation set here. Not everything was bad. There are some good things to build on here, some positive things.”