Count Rob Gronkowski among those who believe in the New England Patriots’ recently-hired offensive coordinator. Appearing on the latest episode of Up & Adams, the former Patriots tight end spoke highly about the 53-year-old and his potential impact on the team’s offense.
“I love Bill O’Brien. I love playing for him. I love the energy that he brings to the table,” Gronkowski said. “He has an itch to get you to go out and play your best football, to get you fired up, to get you to want to go out on the field and get better every single day and make big plays.
“It was just a great time when he was here for the two seasons — he was here my rookie year and my second year. He was just an awesome football coach on the field and off the field as well. His football knowledge is through the roof and I believe that he’s definitely going to restore the Patriot Faithful on the offensive side of the ball.”
This will be O’Brien’s second go-around with the Patriots. He already spent time on their staff between 2007 and 2011, including as coordinator during that last season. While he left for Penn State after the Super Bowl in February 2012, Gronkowski did get to work closely with O’Brien before his departure.
The future Hall of Famer, who won three championships during his time in New England, arrived on the team as a second-round draft choice in 2010. While O’Brien was “only” the quarterbacks coach at that point in time, he was heavily involved in the operation on that side of the ball and effectively a coordinator without the official title.
The experience of playing under O’Brien was a positive one for Gronkowski, and it is why he believes New England’s offense will be able to bounce back from its disappointing 2022 campaign rather quickly.
“He’s going to put his players in the best position to make plays,” he said. “He’s going to come up with some creative ideas and I think they’re going to definitely improve as an offense, tremendously, under coach Bill O’Brien.
“I mean, that’s who the Patriots had to get. They had to get Bill O’Brien. That’s who they needed to get to restore to back in the old days where they were at on the offensive side of the ball. And they got their guy. I’m telling you, I hope they’re paying head coach money for him because you definitely had to. He was definitely high in demand, especially being Alabama’s offensive coordinator. But to take him from Nick Saban, you got to be paying him the big bucks as well.”