Observers already notice the difference between Bill O’Brien and Matt Patricia


The hiring of Bill O’Brien as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator was never meant to revolutionize the offense or reinvent any wheels. It was simply to bring back an element of competence and execution to a unit that too often lacked those things in 2022.

People down at the East-West Shrine Bowl are already noticing the difference.

O’Brien isn’t technically serving in his capacity as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Las Vegas, with Ross Douglas operating in both roles for Shrine Bowl week. Both he and Bill Belichick are listed as working in supervisory roles.

But the Patriots’ newest coach is taking center stage with his instructions of the young quarterbacks in Las Vegas in a very positive way.

Matt Cannata of Pro Football Network, who was on the ground at Shrine Bowl practices, noted the difference in O’Brien’s coaching versus that of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge when Cannata attended Patriots training camp last season.

“I was at Patriots training camp for two full days this summer. I’ve heard and seen more instruction from Bill O’Brien in 15 minutes here at the Shrine Bowl than I did from Patricia/Judge in those two days,” he said.

The quarterbacks in town, notably UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, have felt O’Brien’s (and Belichick’s) presence as well, with Thompson-Robinson calling the Patriots’ coaching this week “super intense, but super helpful.”

Isn’t that a breath of fresh air after Mac Jones basically begged to be “coached harder” and offensive players reportedly felt they had to challenge their offensive coaches to give them the details they needed to succeed?

There’s no telling what the Patriots’ offense will look like in 2023 yet, especially until we know what their personnel on that side of the ball will be. But there’s seemingly no doubt the offensive players will get the coaching they deserve this season.

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