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Does Boston College Have A Better Coaching Situation Than The New England Patriots?

Bruce McLaren

Bill O’Brien at his introductory Boston College press conference.

When one first reads, “Does Boston College have a better coaching situation than the New England Patriots?” they dismiss it and think, how could a college team, especially a middle to low-level ACC team, have a better coaching situation than an NFL team? Once you go through each coach, though, it becomes a real debate and is not so clear to answer. 

Boston College has Bill O’Brien, an experienced NFL head coach with lots of playoff experience. He also has coaching experience at the college level. The Patriots have Jerod Mayo, an inexperienced head coach who is in his first-year head coaching at any level. I would give the “point” here to BC because of the lack of experience that Mayo has. Next, we should look at offensive and defensive coordinators. BC’s offensive coordinator/tight end coach is Will Lawing, who has NFL and college experience as a tight end coach but no experience as a coordinator. The Patriots OC is Alex Van Pelt, the ex-Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator who has a lot of time coaching QBs and calling plays on offense. Here, based on experience, I would give this point to the Patriots. The defensive coordinator for BC is Tim Lewis, who has 34 years of coaching experience on defense, including seven as a DC in the NFL, albeit this was a long time ago. The Pats DC is Demarcus Covington, who has been on the Patriots staff as a coach for a couple of years now. I would give the advantage to the Patriots on this one, as Tim Lewis is a bit old and hasn’t coached in the NFL or in college for a while. He has been coaching in other football leagues for the last few seasons, while Covington has a lot of experience with Bill Belichick teaching him his genius defensive strategies. 

Next, we can compare the other assistant coaches on both team's offensive and defensive sides of the ball. BC has many widely known ex-NFL head coaches on their staff, including Doug Marrone, Rob Chudzinski, and Bill O’Brien. They also have experienced coaches including Matt Applebaum, Dan O’Brien (son of Tom O’Brien ex BC head coach), and Darrell Wyatt, who are renowned in the college football world for being excellent teachers of the game. The Patriots have a lot of coaches on their staff this year, most of whom have good reputations as coaches and a few that do not, including Bed Mcadoo, who coached the New York Giants and did not do a great job. Many of the coaches that the Patriots have, however, are quite new to coaching in the NFL, with a large percentage never coaching in the NFL. Due to this, I would give the advantage of the best assistant coaching staff to BC because of the pedigree some coaches have on the staff, compared to the inexperience of the Patriots staff. 

It is important to compare the “other” coaches and advisors to the teams, along with who has been helping the teams along their way during the beginning of the offseason. BC has had many ex-Patriots coaches/players helping out, which has been tremendous to their growth this offseason, including ex-Bill Belichick advisor Ernie Adams, who has become an advisor to Bill O’Brien, NFL QB Brian Hoyer, and former NFL QB Matt Ryan. BC also hired Berj Najarian as chief of staff, a very well-experienced coach who was another right-hand man to Bill Belichick and has been working for the Patriots for the past 24 years. Also, there have been many rumors of other ex-Patriots players and NFL coaches coming to BC practices to advise them. This, in my opinion, pushes BC’s coaching staff over the top of New England’s. In turn, I would say that the answer to the question posed in this article is that yes, indeed, BC does have a better coaching situation than the New England Patriots at this time! Only time will tell, however, to see if my prediction will prove true or not.


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