Gronk would like Patriots to make this change on offense in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots changed up their offense a bit in 2022 and the results were not very good, to say the least.
The passing attack was particularly inconsistent and ineffective. That unit ranked 20th in passing yards per game, 20th in touchdown passes and 18th in QB rating. Second-year quarterback Mac Jones took a step back in his development under play-caller Matt Patricia and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge.
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
The Patriots acknowledged the failures offensively and hired Bill O'Brien as their new offensive coordinator and QB coach. He has plenty of familiarity with head coach Bill Belichick and the organization overall after spending five seasons in New England from 2007 through 2011.
Patriots Talk: Peter King, Thomas Dimitroff talk Mac, Brady and ranking Super Bowls | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is optimistic O'Brien will make the team's offense a lot better in 2023, and he's hoping to see one specific change next season.
"I was surprised when (Belichick) changed up the offense this year from what I heard and saw as well,” Gronkowski said Tuesday at FOX Sports' media availability for Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix. “I mean, that offense that I was under throughout my whole career that I was there and I’m pretty sure the whole time he was there from like 2003 -- I think that’s one of the best offenses out there. It’s a wonderful system. Just to see them change it this year I think was a little off.
"I think Billy O when I was there, he ran the (same) system. So hopefully he brings it back. Because I think that’s the best scenario for Patriots football -- to have that offense that they were depending on throughout the last 20 years. I think they need to bring that back and I think Billy O will."
The offense the Patriots used throughout Gronkowski's career in New England definitely worked, but it also had the greatest quarterback in league history, Tom Brady, running it all those years. That said, if you know something works, you might as well use it.
O'Brien has enjoyed a lot of success at both the college and pro levels as an offensive-minded coach despite working with a ton of different quarterbacks ranging from elite to not very good. There are plenty of reasons to believe he can get Jones back on track in 2023. And in many ways, the Patriots' success next season will depend on that.