The off-season is just a couple weeks old for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, but the first major departure has occurred on the coaching staff. Brian Daboll, the teams’ tight end coach, will be named the new offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama. Brian Daboll will replace Steve Sarkisian, who recently inked a deal with the Atlanta Falcons to replace Kyle Shanahan after Daboll served just one game as the Alabama offensive coordinator.
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Throughout the season there was a lot of speculation about the future of Josh McDaniels in New England. As the season progressed, that talk intensified until McDaniels pulled his name out of the San Francisco 49ers head coaching search. As it turns out, McDaniels likely replacement in New England ended up moving on.
Daboll’s 17-year career began with the Patriots as a defensive coaching assistant in 2000. After two years he was promoted to wide receivers coach, a position he held until 2006, when he left to join Eric Mangini’s staff in New York. After a few years in New York, Daboll spent time with Cleveland, Miami and Kansas City before returning to New England in 2013.
Brian Daboll now joins Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, fresh off a National Championship game defeat to Clemson. Given the relationship between Saban and Bill Belichick, Daboll’s hiring likely came with a great recommendation from Belichick. Brian Daboll, who was a graduate assistant at Michigan State under Saban, was a highly regarded assistant with the Patriots and now he will be responsible for the development of young quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovoila.
For the Patriots, just as most coaching searches go, they will likely look to fill the position in-house. According to WEEI’s Ryan Hannable, look for the Patriots to look at coaches Nick Caley, Mike Pellegrino or Cole Popovich to fill that position.
Currently, the Patriots only have three tight-ends under contract for 2017. Rob Gronkowski headlines the depth chart, followed by Matt Lengel and newly signed Rob Housler. Ideally, Martellus Bennett rejoins that group as he was a great compliment to Gronk when they were both on the field but that comes down to money. If Bennett wants to get paid what he probably deserves, then the Patriots will move on. If Bennett does move on, look for the Patriots to add another tight-end to the roster through free agency or the draft.