Patriots quarterback Mac Jones absolutely, positively, unequivocally is better positioned to succeed this season with Bill O’Brien serving as New England’s offensive coordinator.

Questions remain about Jones’ on-field supporting cast, of course, but the young signal-caller was destined to fail last season with Matt Patricia (a longtime defensive coach) and Joe Judge (a special-teams specialist) leading the offense under Bill Belichick. A major change to the offensive coaching structure should provide more stability as Jones enters a make-or-break campaign.

That said, there’s still an elephant lurking in the corner. Belichick was reluctant earlier this offseason to throw his full support behind Jones as New England’s QB1, opening the door for trade rumors around the NFL draft, and it’s fair to wonder where exactly their relationship stands three months before the 2023 season kicks off.

Patriots insider Tom E. Curran doesn’t believe everything necessarily needs to be kumbaya, though. After all, Belichick and Tom Brady weren’t on the best terms toward the end of Brady’s tenure in New England. Yet, they still achieved plenty of success together, even winning the Super Bowl in Brady’s second-to-last season in Foxboro.

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“The back half of the Patriots dynasty was comprised by the greatest head coach of all time and the greatest quarterback of all time not really liking each other a whole hell of a lot,” Curran said Wednesday on NBC Sports Boston’s “Early Edition.” “Tom Brady once said to me in 2016: ‘Weirdest guy I’ve ever met. It’s what I’ve been living for 16 years.’ And he spent three more years of it.

“It doesn’t matter. The guys that (Belichick) liked were Cam Newton and Jimmy Garoppolo. So, what’s that tell you? It doesn’t matter. There’s no come-to-Jesus meeting. There’s no embrace. There’s no getting into Bill’s head and channeling whether he personally likes (Jones) or not. Get out of seventh grade for a minute!”

Perhaps, as Curran suggests, we’ve all been reading too much into the Belichick-Jones dynamic. While Belichick certainly has handled the 2021 first-round draft pick differently this offseason than last offseason, when he spoke glowingly of Jones, all that matters is they’re able to work together. And O’Brien figures to be an important buffer, especially with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reporting Belichick is “mostly delegating all things offense” to his returning coordinator.

But if Jones struggles, the conversation could become even more fascinating. New England received a taste of “Zappe Fever” last season when Bailey Zappe briefly stepped in for an injured Jones, and he’ll presumably be waiting in the wings again, ready to play if the offense goes off its tracks.

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