Bill O’Brien promoted to offensive coordinator, other coaching changes

The Patriots, who went coordinator-less on both offense and defense last year, have named an offensive coordinator for the 2011 season: Bill O’Brien.

The team announced some shifting of responsibilities on the coaching staff for the coming year, and chief among them is O’Brien’s promotion to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.

A Massachusetts native and Brown graduate who left the college game in 2007 when he came to the Pats as an offensive assistant, O’Brien’s title the last two years since the departure of Josh McDaniels, has been quarterbacks coach.

However, he has been the primary offensive play-caller since 2009. Last year, New England led the league in scoring and O’Brien, along with Tom Brady, guided the team through a mid-season makeover, when Randy Moss was traded and Deion Branch was brought back.

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Other changes made:

* Matt Patricia will now coach the safeties. Patricia, who has been with the Pats for eight seasons, had coached the linebackers for the last five years;

* Patrick Graham will coach the linebackers. Graham, who played at Yale, joined the Pats as a coaching assistant in 2009;

* Brian Flores becomes a defensive coaching assistant. Flores, a former scout, spent last year as a coaching assistant on offense and special teams.

The shifting of defensive responsibilities seems to signal that Belichick will continue to oversee the unit, as he did last year after the team parted ways with Dean Pees.

Also, the team officially announced that Corwin Brown will not return to the team.

There hasn’t been much written about O’Brien, but here’s a story I did on him at my previous paper.

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