Bill O’Brien was the most impactful and highest-profile offseason addition to the Patriots’ coaching staff, taking the reins of a New England offense that struggled mightily last season.
No. 2 on that list is Adrian Klemm, who will be asked to bring stability to the Patriots’ offense line after an erratic 2022 campaign under Matt Patricia.
O’Brien and Klemm rightfully have commanded the lion’s share of coaching-related headlines in recent months. But they’re not the only new faces on Bill Belichick’s offensive staff.
The Patriots also have a new tight ends coach: 37-year-old Will Lawing, who previously worked under O’Brien at Alabama, with the Houston Texans and at Penn State. Lawing replaced Nick Caley, who coached New England’s tight ends the last six seasons before leaving to take the same job with the Los Angeles Rams. Tight end Mike Gesicki has enjoyed their working relationship thus far.
“Will’s awesome,” Gesicki told reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium. “It’s been really good. Obviously, (he’s) a younger position coach, so it’s cool. He gets it. He’s good at communicating with us, so it’s been awesome working with him, and obviously he has a history with OB. It’s been good. It’s exciting, and I’m just getting ready to continue to keep working. Looking forward to just taking this thing day by day.”
Lawing, who played wide receiver at North Carolina before getting into coaching, spoke with New England reporters for the first time last month.
“My role is basically offensive assistant,” he said. “I’m helping out with the tight ends. No expectations on what it is or what it isn’t. But, currently, just working Phase 1 (of the offseason program), getting a chance to be around the guys and have the players back in the building and talk football, which has been a breath of fresh air. But no real expectations.”
Most Patriots fans wouldn’t be able to pick Lawing out of a lineup, but O’Brien clearly believes he’s a talented assistant. This will be the duo’s 11th consecutive season working together, a streak that began when O’Brien hired Lawing as a Penn State graduate assistant in 201`3.
Gesicki, meanwhile, was one of the marquee additions to New England’s roster this offseason. Essentially a super-sized receiver, the former Miami Dolphin lacks punch as a run blocker but can create mismatches in the passing game with his 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame and red-zone skills.
Joining Gesicki in the Patriots’ tight end room are Hunter Henry, Matt Sokol, Scotty Washington and undrafted rookie Johnny Lumpkin.