Shrine Bowl QB dishes on ‘intense, aggressive’ coaching from Bill O’Brien, Patriots


From what we’re hearing down in Las Vegas for the Shrine Bowl, Mac Jones shouldn’t have any complaints about how hard he’s being coached in 2023.

New Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has apparently been very hands-on in his supervisory role at the Shrine Bowl, according to a few players.

The Athletic’s Chad Graff most recently relayed a story from Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito, who has stood out for the Patriots’ West team as one of the better pure passers at practices thus far, about just how animated O’Brien can get – even when he’s not technically one of the position coaches at the practices.

“He was, like, dressed in disguise,” DeVito said of O’Brien. “He had a hat on, big jacket. I couldn’t really see his face, and this dude is just screaming. At first, I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ Then he got up close and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s Bill O’Brien,’ and it kind of made sense. They are very intense, aggressive coaches.”

That last sentence seems to sum up O’Brien’s and Bill Belichick’s approach to the Shrine Bowl perfectly.

A year after the offensive coaching staff came under fire for lack of preparation and general ineptitude, New England’s coaches are putting their nose to the grindstones and getting back to their exacting standards of teaching and evaluating.

This approach has reportedly extended to after-practice hours, according to Graff, as Patriots staffers have been grinding through the prospects’ practice film all day and preparing for free agency and the draft all night rather than enjoying the Las Vegas surroundings.

The Patriots’ coaching staff has a lot to prove this season, and Belichick and O’Brien are seemingly leading the charge back to respectability in a highly important season in Foxborough.

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