Did Robert Kraft Admit To Mandating Patriots’ Bill O’Brien Hiring?

'It's something we've done this year'


Feb 12, 2023

It sounds like Bill Belichick was on board with the Patriots hiring Bill O’Brien. He’s said nothing but great things about O’Brien since New England made the 53-year-old its new offensive coordinator.

But did Belichick need a little push from Robert Kraft?

The Patriots owner spoke with Neil Cavuto last week during an episode of FOX Business’ “Coast to Coast” program. During his appearance, Kraft indicated he told Belichick a change needed to be made after Matt Patricia failed as New England’s offensive play-caller.

“Well, everyone manages in a different way,” Kraft, who later praised O’Brien during a meeting with Patriots reporters, told Cavuto. “I can only speak for myself. I try to hire the best people I can. I give them accountability, full authority to do as they please, hold them accountable. But if things aren’t going the way I’d like, we meet in private, and have our discussions and make changes. It’s something we’ve done this year.

“I’m very happy that we were able to bring in a new offensive coordinator to help develop our young quarterback, Mac Jones. I think bringing in Bill O’Brien has been a big plus for our franchise. And that was done in full cooperation with Coach Belichick. And I’m very excited about our team for next year.”

Kraft’s remarks leave some room for interpretation. Did he give Belichick an actual mandate, or did he strongly voice his opinion while still giving New England’s head coach the freedom to make his own call?

Probably the latter, but either way, it sounds like Kraft inserted himself into the decision-making process.

Thumbnail photo via Gary Cosby Jr./Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports Images
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