The New England Patriots made Mac Jones a very happy man Tuesday, it appears.
The Patriots are hiring Bill O'Brien as their new offensive coordinator to replace 2022 offensive play-caller Matt Patricia, our Phil Perry confirmed. O'Brien was among five offensive coordinator candidates to interview for New England's OC vacancy but was widely viewed as the frontrunner based on his previous experience with the Patriots and familiarity with Jones.
Unsurprisingly, Jones seems pleased with O'Brien's hiring. The 24-year-old quarterback is "'very' excited about O’Brien coming to New England," Mass Live's Mark Daniels reported Tuesday, citing a source close to Jones.
It's obvious why Jones would welcome a new offensive coordinator after a tumultuous 2022 campaign in which he regressed significantly with Patricia as his play-caller. After making the Pro Bowl as a rookie under 2021 offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Jones threw just 14 touchdown passes in 14 games last season with 11 interceptions and a 36.1 QBR, which was 28th among qualified quarterbacks.
Now, Jones will partner with an experienced offensive mind who worked with Tom Brady for four seasons in New England from 2007 and 2011 and spent the previous two seasons at Jones' alma mater, Alabama. In fact, Jones actually helped O'Brien learn the Crimson Tide offense after O'Brien took over as Alabama offensive coordinator in January 2021, so the two already have a relationship.
Jones is entering the third year of his four-year rookie contract, so the pressure will be on O'Brien to help get the quarterback back on track in 2023. But it appears the Patriots hired the right man for the job: Jones has expressed a desire to be "coached hard," as former New England QB Matt Cassel explained recently, O'Brien will have no trouble giving Jones some hard coaching.