The Patriots continue tinkering with their coaching staff under new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien with another significant addition to their staff.
According to ESPN's Pete Thamel, former Oregon associate head coach and run-game coordinator Adrian Klemm is leaving the Ducks to join the Patriots coaching staff. Klemm was Bill Belichick's first-ever draft pick as the head coach of the Patriots, winning three Super Bowls in four seasons with New England as a second-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Following a six-year playing career, Klemm began coaching in the collegiate ranks, where he was the offensive line coach at SMU and UCLA before joining the Steelers staff in 2019. After three seasons in Pittsburgh, Klemm spent the 2022 season in Eugene. Klemm was Oregon's associate head coach, run-game coordinator, and offensive line coach last season.
With Klemm now in the fold, the Patriots offensive coaching staff is starting to take shape. Former tight ends coach Nick Caley is taking the same position with the Los Angeles Rams, per the MMQB's Albert Breeer. Caley's contract reportedly expired this offseason, while the Pats hired longtime O'Brien assistant Will Lawing to potentially fill the role. Based on current information, the Pats projected offensive coaching staff could look something like this:
- Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks: Bill O'Brien
- Offensive Line Coach: Adrian Klemm
- Running Backs Coach: Vinnie Sunseri
- Wide Receivers/Returners: Troy Brown
- Tight Ends Coach: Will Lawing
- Asst. Wide Receivers: Ross Douglas
- Asst. Quarterbacks: Evan Rothstein
- Asst. Offensive Line: Billy Yates
Although O'Brien also orchestrates the offense from a blocking perspective, Klemm helped design an Oregon rushing attack that wanted to set a physical tone. The Ducks used a variety of formations, motions, shifts, and an up-tempo spread system to keep the defense off-balance. From a run game standpoint, they were an inside zone-based attack that mixed in power and counter schemes in their gun-run approach, while run-pass options were also featured prominently.
After O'Brien's two-year stint at Alabama and time spent as the head coach at Penn State, the Patriots bringing in another offensive mind with a college background is enticing. New schemes often trickle up from the college game to the NFL, so Klemm and O'Brien could bring new wrinkles and flavor to a system that has been somewhat stale recently.
In terms of player development, it remains to be seen what Klemm can do with younger players such as second-year guard Cole Strange and likely several rookies expected to join the team this offseason. Oregon's offensive line ranked first in the FBS with just five sacks allowed in 13 games in 2022, and Klemm has plenty of experience coaching up players.
The Patriots had an affinity for Klemm as they began making changes to their offensive staff. The veteran offensive line coach was interviewed for the offensive coordinator position. When that went to O'Brien, he was brought in for a follow-up interview to join the staff as the offensive line coach. Plus, the Pats gave Klemm a pay raise to pry him out of Eugene.
New England lands a coach that, based on their actions, they feel is a rising star. Klemm joins the staff with over a decade of experience coaching the offensive line and could be someone who trains under O'Brien to become an offensive coordinator candidate down the road.