After a disastrous performance on offense last season, the Patriots hired Bill O’Brien to be their new man in charge of the offense. Tuesday was the first time he was made available to the media.
“It really is a clean slate,” O’Brien told reporters.” Whatever you did in the past, it really is about what are we going to do starting yesterday.”
NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran asked O’Brien about how good third-year quarterback Mac Jones can be:
“The big thing for us right now is everybody’s starting with a clean slate. I think that every year’s different, I think this year’s no different than any other year relative to each year in the NFL is different.
What you did in the past, whether it’s a player or a coach or anybody in the organization, it really has no bearing on what moving forward.”
Notice a trend? It seems that the Patriots, at least internally, are really trying their best to move forward past the Matt Patricia era of offensive play calling.
O’Brien’s addition to the coaching staff has also helped New England’s director of player personnel Matt Groh and his scouting department. Groh was asked about O’Brien and his involvement in the draft process:
“Not just coming from Alabama, but a head coach in the NFL. Certainly through free agency, whether it was through his draft prep with the Texans and then here the last couple years at Alabama. He knows those players very very well and then he was in the SEC where there’s a lot of good players.
To be able to pick his brain on certain things, look I certainly don’t have all of the answers, trying to find out as much information on these guys going into the draft as we can. Coach O’Brien is a wealth of knowledge and he’s been a really really good friend and resource for myself.”
O’Brien also spoke about his decision to come back to New England, as opposed to staying in college:
“I think the big thing about coming back here was to come back and work for a great organization, great owner, great head coach…
I love both [college and the NFL], I really do. I’ve loved my experience, I’m kind of 50/50 I’ve been half my career in college and half in the NFL. I love both. I really enjoy being in the NFL, being around the players, starting yesterday, just being around these guys and the professionalism of this organization and these players, this coaching staff. I really enjoy the process of the NFL, it’s something I’ve always enjoyed and I’m just really excited to be back.”
New England’s offseason program began on Monday with voluntary workouts. The NFL Draft begins next Thursday, and the Patriots will hit the field for OTA’s starting on May 22.
“A clean slate” on offense was much needed – and it looks like exactly what this team will get as they begin the 2023 season.
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