Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is pleased with the changes the team has made on the offensive side of the football.
New England struggled offensively last season, as they were at the bottom of the league in many categories. They got decent production from the running game, as Rhamondre Stevenson carried the ball 210 times for 1,040 yards and five touchdowns. Stevenson was also efficient with his caries, averaging five yards per carry.
However, the passing game needed work, as it ranked 20th in passing yards per game and 20th in touchdown passes. Mac Jones had an up-and-down season, recording 2,997 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
With all of that in mind, Gronkowski believes the addition of Bill O’Brien will rejuvenate the Patriots offense, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston’s Nick Goss.
“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.”
New England has a chance to remake the entire offense with some cap space and O’Brien’s style. Patriots tight ends had success under O’Brien in 2011. The tight end position is something that needs rejuvenation for the current team, and there is a chance O’Brien may be able to provide that.
It will be intriguing to see what moves the organization makes, as DeAndre Hopkins rumors continue to swirl, among other things.
Nevertheless, the effort to improve on the offensive side of the football should be encouraging for Patriots fans, and it certainly is a selling point for Gronkowski.