Rob Gronkowski loves the Bill O’Brien hire for the Patriots

New England Patriots legend Rob Gronkowski isn’t coming out of retirement but he’s a big fan of the team’s new offensive coordinator.

The Patriots didn’t wait until the thick of the offseason to address their play-calling and offensive issues, hiring Bill O’Brien to take over as offensive coordinator. O’Brien was a somewhat obvious choice, having worked with the team from 2007-2011 and leading them to three top-7 finishes in scoring offense while calling plays. Since leaving the Patriots he’d worked as the head coach at Penn State and for the Houston Texans, before running Alabama’s offensive last year.

O’Brien may have been a no-brainer hire but that doesn’t mean he isn’t generating a lot of excitement among the Patriots faithful. Rob Gronkowski made an appearance on FanDuelTV with Kay Adams yesterday and sang O’Brien’s praises.

“I think they’re going to improve as an offense tremendously under Bill O’Brien,” said Gronk. “That’s who they had to get.”

“I think they’re going to improve as an offense tremendously under Bill O’Brien. That’s who they had to get.”

Gronk set career highs for catches (90), yards (1,327) and touchdowns (17) under O’Brien in 2011.

— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) January 25, 2023

As pointed out in that segment, O’Brien was leading the offense when Gronk has the best season of his career and it’s no surprise that he’s excited.

What can Bill O’Brien do for the Patriots’ offense?

The most obvious place to look for O’Brien’s impact will be with quarterback Mac Jones, who regressed in his second season. His completion percentage dropped slightly, was forced to take a lot more sacks and struggled with turnovers. As the Boston Globe pointed out, Jones has seemingly been asking for a bit more of a heavy hand in the direction and feedback he receives.

“Known as a stern taskmaster, O’Brien demands a lot, and that bodes well for Jones, who expressed a desire to be coached harder during the season.”

The Patriots will have their work cut out for them over the rest of the offseason, adding more weapons for Mac Jones and seeking upgrades on both sides of the ball. But landing O’Brien is a great start.

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