Six Coaches Bill O’Brien, Patriots Could Add To New Offensive Staff

Who will be Bill O'Brien's position coaches?


January 27

Bill O’Brien likely won’t be the only new coach the Patriots hire this offseason.

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe on Thursday reported New England is expected to make more additions to fill out its offensive staff, and that new coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien will have input on those hires.

So, who might those coaches be?

We compiled a list of six potential candidates, all but one of whom previously worked under O’Brien either with the Houston Texans, where he was head coach from 2014-20, or at Alabama, where he was OC for the last two seasons.

This is not an exhaustive rundown of all possible options and does not include anyone who currently holds a job as an NFL position coach, as the Patriots would need that team’s permission to hire a coach for a lateral move.

Adrian Klemm
Klemm interviewed for the offensive coordinator job and reportedly is expected to meet with the Patriots again for a different role. Based on his background, that likely would be offensive line coach, Matt Patricia’s gig this season. Klemm currently is the O-line coach/run game coordinator/associate head coach at Oregon and previously spent close to three seasons on Mike Tomlin’s Steelers staff. His Ducks O-line allowed the fewest sacks in Division I this season (five) and helped power a run game that ranked 12th in the FBS in yards per game. As a player, Klemm was Belichick’s first Patriots draft pick (second round, 2000) and played five seasons in New England as a backup O-lineman, winning three Super Bowls. Keenan McCardell and Shawn Jefferson also interviewed for the OC position and could be in the position coach mix, though no follow-up interviews for either have been reported.

Will Lawing
Lawing was with O’Brien for the latter’s entire tenure in Houston, starting as a defensive quality control coach (2014-16) before moving to offensive assistant (2017-18) and eventually to tight ends coach (2019-20). When O’Brien left for Alabama, the 37-year-old Lawing went with him, spending the last two seasons as an offensive analyst with the Crimson Tide. Lawing, a former North Carolina wide receiver, also was a graduate assistant under O’Brien at Penn State, so those two go way back. The Patriots would need a new tight ends coach if Nick Caley, who is not with the rest of New England’s coaches at the Shrine Bowl, does not return.

Mike Devlin
Another longtime O’Brien lieutenant, Devin was the Texans’ O-line coach from 2015-20. Before that, he logged a nine-year stint with the New York Jets, coaching tight ends for seven of those seasons and O-line for two and spanning two different head-coaching regimes (Eric Mangini and Rex Ryan). The 53-year-old currently is the assistant O-line coach in Baltimore, so the Patriots could hire him as a primary position coach without needing the Ravens’ approval.

John Perry
A Massachusetts native and University of New Hampshire alum, Perry was O’Brien’s first tight ends coach in Houston before transitioning to receivers in 2017. After the Texans fired O’Brien in 2020, Perry linked up with another longtime Friend of Belichick, Greg Schiano, becoming an offensive assistant at Rutgers. The 53-year-old was the offensive coordinator at Sam Houston State in 2022 and was hired in the same role at Lamar earlier this week. Perry also has coached at five different New England colleges over the last three decades, including a five-year run as head coach at Merrimack.

Denarius McGhee
O’Brien hired the 31-year-old McGhee for his first NFL coaching job in 2020, and the next two Texans staffs retained him. He’s been an offensive assistant in Houston for the past three seasons, primarily working with quarterbacks. McGhee played the position at Montana State and for three seasons in the Canadian Football League. If O’Brien is looking for a young assistant QBs coach, he’d be one option.

Eric Wolford
Wolford wasn’t with O’Brien in Houston, but he was his O-line coach at Alabama this season. The 51-year-old has coached linemen at eight different FBS programs and was the San Francisco 49ers’ assistant O-line coach from 2015-16. Wolford also had a five-year stint as head coach at Youngstown State, where his O-line coach was ex-Patriots and current Raiders assistant Carmen Bricillo.

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