The New England Patriots didn't do anything of note at the trade deadline, but rumors are still swirling around them.
That's because former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was fired from his head coaching job with the Las Vegas Raiders, leading many to speculate that he may find his way back to New England.
Patriots superstar Rob Gronkowski is certainly in that camp based on his recent comments.
Appearing on FanDuel's "Up and Adams" show on Wednesday, Gronk said he thinks New England will fire current offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien at the end of the year and bring back McDaniels.
It's an interesting theory for a couple of reasons. For starters, O'Brien's job is certainly in jeopardy based on how poorly the Patriots' offense has performed this year. New England currently ranks 31st in scoring and 26th in yardage heading into Week 9, so if that doesn't improve in the second half of the season, O'Brien could be out.
If O'Brien does get canned, Bill Belichick would probably hire Josh McDaniels to replace him. McDaniels already served as the Patriots' OC from 2006-2008 and again from 2012-2021, as Belichick rehired him after he left for a failed head coaching stint with the Denver Broncos.
As we've seen with Matt Patricia, Joe Judge and O'Brien, Belichick loves bringing back old assistants. He prefers to work with people that he's comfortable with (like his sons) and has avoided bringing in fresh blood/outsiders. Like most 71-year-old men, he's not a fan of change.
So Gronk may be on to something here. If New England continues its losing ways and the offense continues to sputter, don't be surprised if McDaniels goes back to running the Patriots' offense again in 2024.
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