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Top New England Patriots executive reportedly pushing for specific offensive coordinator

The New England Patriots vowed to make changes to their offensive coaching staff for the 2023 season. While the search for a new offensive coordinator is just beginning, an early favorite could reportedly be emerging.

Bill Belichick took a massive gamble before the 2022 season. After offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become the Las Vegas Raiders head coach, taking prominent assistants with him, Belichick opted for trust over experience.

Related: Best New England Patriots offensive coordinator candidates 2023

By making Matt Patricia his offensive play-caller and Joe Judge the quarterbacks’ coach, Belichick went against conventional wisdom. The decisions were met with overwhelming criticism from the outside, which proved to be right.

  • New England Patriots offense: 21.4 PPG (17th), 42.22% red-zone touchdown rate (32nd)

After meeting with owner Robert Kraft, Belichick agreed to make significant changes to the coaching staff. Patricia and Judge are expected to remain with New England, but they’ll likely be assigned to different roles.

Related: New England Patriots coaching staff to undergo changes

As Belichick evaluates potential candidates to take over as the play-caller and architect of the Patriots’ offense in 2023, there seems to be a push inside the building for a familiar name.

According to Mike Giardi of NFL Network, one “very influential voice” in upper management is pushing for Bill O’Brien to be the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2023.

Who will be the New England Patriots offensive coordinator in 2023?

O’Brien is a reasonable target for New England. From Belichick’s perspective, it’s a coach from outside the organization who he could trust back in the building. The strong relationship he has with O’Brien and Alabama coach Nick Saban is another strong factor.

Related: Matt Patricia, Joe Judge expected to remain with New England Patriots in 2023

Just as important, O’Brien found success with quarterback Mac Jones and the two had an excellent coach-quarterback relationship at Alabama. Considering the clashes New England’s second-year quarterback had with Patricia and Joe Judge this past season, a familiar voice in his ear could go a long way toward improvement in 2023.

One of the other top Patriots’ options might also be off the table. Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is in Thailand and told NFL teams not to call him. If he sits out the 2023 season, O’Brien might be the best and most realistic candidate for New England.

Even if New England adds O’Brien to its coaching staff, Belichick will likely make additional changes with some within the organization reportedly pushing for upgrades at wide receiver.