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Bill Belichick's approach to building Patriots' coaching staff makes last year all the more confounding

Sports Final: How will Patriots honor Tom Brady?
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BOSTON -- The Patriots are investing a lot of money in their offensive coaching staff, hiring experienced coaches to fill critical roles. 

Bill O'Brien, a 53-year-old with 12 years of NFL coaching experience and nine years of head coaching experience, was brought on to work as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He's brought on tight ends coach Will Lawing and his decade of working alongside O'Brien.

Adrian Klemm, with a decade of O-line coach experience to go with associate head coach and run game coordinator job titles in his past, is also coming to New England, reportedly getting a pay bump from the $850,000 he would have made at Oregon this year.

All of this is positive news for the health and viability of the 2023 New England Patriots.

But it also makes Bill Belichick's decisions in building a coaching staff all the more confounding.

After losing Josh McDaniels -- one of the most experienced and successful offensive coordinators in the NFL -- along with three assistants, the Patriots took a low-budget route of building a coaching staff. With Matt Patricia still drawing his salary from his time as Detroit's head coach, and with Joe Judge still drawing his salary from his brief run as Giants head coach, the two coaches with almost no offensive coaching experience were tasked with running the offense. No other outside hires were made to fill the vacated roles.

Obviously, this story has been told many times over by now, so there's no need to dig through the specifics. Everyone aside from Bill Belichick assumed it was going to go poorly. It did go poorly. Now it's changing. That last part is a positive.

But in a region where winning is supposed to be everything, and where every decision made is supposed to be "what's best for the team," the decisions never made sense. And the result was a wasted season, one where the belief inside the locker room waned.

Mac Jones' young career was halted, and he's now being tasked with restarting his progression. First-round pick Cole Strange didn't get the coaching he likely needed as a rookie on the offensive line. Tyquan Thornton likewise wasn't placed in a position to succeed in his rookie year. Individually, a lot of players not named Rhamondre or Jakobi took a hit. Collectively, the whole team suffered.

Last year, the money spent on an offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and offensive line coach was close to zero. This year, it's in the millions -- and that's without factoring in the presumed pay bump to keep Jerod Mayo on the defensive coaching staff.

Again, the positive is that the mistake isn't being repeated. We can now see what Mac Jones and the rest of the offense can do with a proper offensive coaching staff again. Yet barring a more detailed and authentic explanation from Belichick himself, the decisions and the financial investment for 2023 will surely make the decisions and lack of investment in 2022 all the more difficult to grasp.

It's true that lamenting the past does no good for the future. But the choices made for 2022 by an organization known for making the right choices? It might not ever make any sense.

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