AFC East Roundup: Coordinator carousel
As NFL fans continue to focus on the postseason, which sees the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs square off in Super Bowl LVII, the franchises eliminated from the playoffs are beginning to make changes towards a better result next season . That’s especially true this week with the changes among coordinators in the AFC East. Who’s in, who’s out? Let’s discuss the moves made around the Division this week.
As of this writing, both defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey will return for the Bills next season. While some members of the Bills Mafia have called for the team to switch from one or both coordinators, retaining both coordinators should allow the Bills to remain successful and competitive in the league.
After fielding an underperforming offense with no clear offensive coordinator in the 2022 season, the Patriots hired former Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien as the team’s next offensive coordinator. O’Brien was offensive coordinator for Alabama in 2022 and is returning to New England after a four-year stint with the team early in his career. Alabama’s offense has been one of the best units in the nation for the past two seasons under O’Brien’s leadership. With the Patriots, O’Brien is tasked with getting quarterback Mac Jones back on track for his third season in the NFL. The challenge could be that now in as many years in the league, Jones has to adjust and adapt to a third different offensive playcaller.
The Jets took an eyebrow-raising stance last week, naming Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator. You may recall that Hackett was just relieved of his duties as head coach of the Denver Broncos and couldn’t complete his first season at the helm. Additionally, Hackett was the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers when Aaron Rodgers won back-to-back NFL MVP awards. With uncertainty surrounding Rodgers’ future in Green Bay, speculation has begun about the Jets’ involvement in trade talks with the Packers.
The Miami Dolphins tap Fangio to control the defense
Perhaps the most notable recruitment of the week was the appointment of Vic Fangio as their defensive coordinator with the Dolphins. Considered by some to be the diamond among available coaches, Fangio spent the 2022 season as a defensive assistant for the Super Bowl-affiliated Philadelphia Eagles. Miami has made Fangio the highest-paid defensive coordinator in the league, and with good reason. Fangio’s defense has always been at the top of the league in terms of allowed points per game. Obviously, there’s hope that Fangio’s zoning scheme will better suit the South Beach players.