Just when you thought the road to Super Bowl XLVI was getting a little bit smoother, the New England Patriots have to avoid another bump in the road. While the Patriots have been resting up and preparing for the AFC divisional round of the playoffs, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has been preparing for a new job interview. The Penn State Nittany Lions have shown lots of interest in Bill O’Brien for the new head coaching position and O’Brien has already missed a practice with the Patriots to spend time interviewing at Penn State. You can’t blame O’Brien for going on an interview to land a better job than he currently has and as a New England Patriot, you also can’t waste time dwelling on it.
Bill Belichick certainly hasn’t lost any sleep over it and to counter the possible loss of O’Brien, the Patriots hired former offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach for the New England Patriots, Josh McDaniels. It may take McDaniels a little bit of time to get up to speed but he knows the Patriots system very well and will be there when the Patriots need him most. Josh McDaniels is currently hired as an offensive consultant but will be the offensive coordinator for the 2012 season.
I personally don’t think the Patriots will lose too much stride in their offense with Tom Brady behind center and taking great care of the football this whole season, especially in the divisional round of the playoffs. Patriots Football Weekly writers Andy Hart and Paul Perillo are split on their believe in whether or not Bill O’Brien’s departure from the team will be a distraction going forward. Andy believes O’Brien’s mind may be elsewhere during the game(s) with a new job opportunity on the horizon while Paul believes Belichick will have his team well prepared for their upcoming opponent(s) and that O’Brien knows how to multitask and do what he needs to do to get the job done. A poll was also taken on the matter where the fans put in their two cents. 30 percent of the voters believe O’Brien’s departure will be a distraction to the team while the other 70 percent believes otherwise. The Patriots are either going to play the Texans or the Broncos in next week’s divisional round of the playoffs. If you think about it, both those teams don’t have potent enough offenses to put the Patriots in a serious offensive play calling bind. Is O'Brien going to be thinking about the head coaching position at Penn State and how well his interviews went while he is calling plays for the Patriots in the playoffs? I highly doubt it, let's keep it real here at Pre-Snap Read, shall we? The Patriots offensive play calling will be just fine for the playoffs.