A.J. McCarron knows Bill O’Brien can bring a ‘quarterback-friendly offense’

McCarron played for O'Brien for two years in Houston.

AJ McCarron while playing for the Texans
Former Texans quarterback AJ McCarron during a game in 2020. AP/Kirk Irwin

Former Texans quarterback A.J. McCarron had high praise for his former coach Bill O’Brien and what he can bring to the Patriots offense this season.

McCarron spoke with ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Sunday before his first game in the XFL as a member of the St. Louis Battlehawks. The quarterback spent two years as a backup in Houston and described O’Brien’s offense as “quarterback friendly.”

O’Brien was hired as New England’s offensive coordinator on Jan. 24 after much speculation over who the team would choose to run the offense. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge were relieved of their play-calling duties in January after the offense ranked in the bottom half of the league in points scored last season and gained the fourth-fewest yards. 


So far, plenty of former players and personnel around the team have shared their approval of the hiring of O’Brien, who was a Patriots assistant from 2007 to 2011.

In terms of what McCarron had to say about O’Brien’s role in New England, there was nothing but confidence in his former coach’s ability to work for the Patriots again.

“OB is a wonderful coach; very intelligent, and he gets guys to play hard,” McCarron said. “I think he’s going to do an excellent job there.”

McCarron also shared some encouraging words about O’Brien’s ability to develop young quarterbacks. Much of the focus since the hiring has been how O’Brien will be able to work with current New England quarterback Mac Jones

“What helped me grow a ton as a player was going to Houston,” McCarron said. “I dove into that offense and, ever since, I’ve wanted to know everything.”

The offense that McCarron saw with O’Brien was much more geared towards quarterback control over reads and protection calling than the one featured by the Patriots last season.

Jones notably struggled with last year’s offensive changes after finding success under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as a rookie.


What helps Jones further is that he already has a familiarity with O’Brien as the quarterback helped the coach with his transition to Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2021.


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