When Mike Gesicki first signed with the New England Patriots this offseason, his new quarterback Mac Jones gave him a warm welcome — literally.
“I came up here and he reached out to me,” Gesicki told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Thursday. “Ended up staying over at his house and just kind of getting to know him and building that relationship and that chemistry.
“He’s got a nice setup over there. He’s got a nice setup in the basement. I stayed there, so it was good.”
As the two got to know each other off the field, they also got to work on it. Along with quarterback Bailey Zappe and several other teammates, Gesicki and Jones held throwing sessions together to start building their chomradery. Gesicki’s initial impressions of his new quarterback were strong.
“Really cool dude. Cool personality,” he shared. “Love the energy and the juice he brings out to some throwing sessions. Great arm, accurate, all that kind of stuff.
“Make sure I check all the boxes because I know everyone is going to want to talk about it,” he then added with a laugh. “He’s awesome, really excited to work with him, so it’s been good.”
After a down season in new head coach Mike McDaniel’s offense in Miami last season, Gesicki signed a one-year contract in New England with a maximum value of $9 million in free agency. He’ll hope for better production this season under Bill O’Brien.
“OB has a great system,” Gesicki said. “It’s exciting just to kind of get in the meeting rooms and just hear how things are run and terminology. It’s very, very basic right now but it’s exciting to kind of watch some tape of how it’s been run and things like that. It’s going to be exciting.”
The tight end and offensive coordinator have a history, as well. While O’Brien was the head coach at Penn State, he recruited Gesicki to the Nittany Lions. Gesicki never got the opportunity to play for O’Brien though, as he left to take the Houston Texans head coaching job. Nearly a decade later, the two now reunite in Foxboro.
“It’s cool. It’s kind of that relationship from when he recruited me way back when in high school, kind of picking back up where we left off,” Gesicki said. “But, it’s awesome. OB’s awesome, cool dude. Really excited to kind of gel with him and get in this offense and get to work.”
Despite never playing for O’Brien, Gesicki has some experience in a similar offense. From 2019-2021 in Miami, Gesicki played under former Patriots’ assistant Brian Flores, while Chad O’Shea —who worked under O’Brien from 2009-2011 — served as the team's offensive coordinator in 2019.
The three-year window marked the most productive stretch of Gesicki’s career, as he hauled in 177 receptions for 2,053 yards and 13 touchdowns. He sees the similarities in O’Brien’s offense now, where New England will hope he can replicate his past production.
“There’s obviously gonna be similarities and everyone has their nuances of how they're going to run it and all that kind of stuff,” he said. “But there’s definitely some similarities, obviously with their ties here. So, there is some familiarity in terms of now just picking it back up.”