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The last time a Patriots offensive coordinator left for a head coaching job, it was Charlie Weiss taking over at Notre Dame in 2005. That year Bill Belichick called the plays while grooming quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels to take over the position.
During 2005 the Patriots threw more than they had the previous season (56% of the time, compared to 48% in 2004) or would the following year (51%). Of course, at least some of that had to do with New England having a high-mileage Corey Dillon as its primary ballcarrier.
Since the Patriots organization is well shy of forthcoming with information regarding its inner workings, it’s been left up to the media to speculate. But it appears that history is repeating itself as Belichick elevated receivers coach Bill O’Brien to the springboard position of quarterbacks coach. The plan, it is widely assumed, is for O’Brien to look over Belichick’s shoulder this year and take over play-calling duties in 2010.
The Patriots’ offense essentially returns intact—with the added bonus of Tom Brady coming back from the knee injury that prematurely ended his 2008 campaign. The last time Brady was at the helm, the Patriots threw just as frequently (56%) as they did when it was Belichick calling the plays. With New England still lacking a true feature back, a healthy Brady and a Belichick game plan that’s not afraid to go up top… you go ahead and do the math.