Syracuse football is still without its play-caller.
And the newest name to pop up is making waves in New England. For all the wrong reasons.
Last month, Doug Marrone waved goodbye to his first-year offensive coordinator Rob Spence. As The Fizzdocumented, “Ironically, the Pelham, NY native and Iona graduate seemed much more at home in his straw fedora and shades, implementing a high-powered offense down among the mangroves and pulled-pork of South Carolina.
At Clemson, Spence oversaw one of the most versatile attacks in the ACC. This season with the Orange? SU’s offense looked as sluggish as Otto the morning after Flip Night at Faegan’s.
Five times SU was held under two touchdowns and the three-game losing streak against Cincinnati, Pitt and Louisville in which the Orange scored a measly 26 points summoned the grim reaper.”
We might be closer to discovering Spence’s replacement. But his name surely won’t inspire parades down Erie Blvd.
It’s Bill O’Brien, a guy Marrone worked with at Georgia Tech prior to taking over as quarterbacks coach for the Patriots. This season, after Josh McDaniels departed for Denver, O’Brien took over as play-caller in New England.
The results were mixed, at best.
At times, the Pats attack was impressive. Tom Brady put up 4,500 yards and 28 TDs. Wes Welker was a machine before his torn ACL, grabbing 123 receptions in just over 13 games. Randy Moss once again was a dynamic downfield threat (when he broke a sweat), being named to yet another Pro Bowl. They exploded for 59 points in the snow against the Titans in a defining offensive performance.
But more often than not, the Pats attack was inconsistent and frustrating. O’Brien never found the fluidity with the offense that his predecessors, McDaniels and Charlie Weis, did. Opposing defenses found it easier and easier to stop the one-dimensional attack as the season progressed.
In a home playoff game, the Ravens absolutely annihilated the Patriots offense, harassing Brady into a miserable day and forcing four turnovers. The Ravens put up 24 points before the Pats even sniffed the red zone.
Needless to say, Pats fans wouldn’t be broken-hearted if O’Brien left. Just a sampling from the messageboard PatsFans.com:
Only a rumor, but I’m hearing Doug Marrone at Syracuse is interested in hiring Bill O’Brien.
Can we send some letters of recommendation?
I’d be okay with that…
How about a petition?
Conan O’Brien is being lined up as Bill O’Brien’s replacement.
Is this a joke? Do teams just blindly see the word Patriots beside a coaches name and think they’re amazing?
SShhhhh…. they might hear you and think twice before they take him off our hands.
Hot damn, I’ll help him pack and drive him to the airport.
Best news of the offseason.
Marrone might be hesitant to put too much on his plate in Year Two of his regime. But it’s becoming clear. The best play-caller for Syracuse is already on staff. It’s you, Doug.