The New England Patriots did not take much time before making the first move to try and reach SuperBowl 51 next season; on Monday the Patriots fired offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, just a day after the Patriots 20-18 loss in the AFC Championship game to the Denver Bronocs.
During that AFC Championship game, the Patriots offensive line couldn’t keep Denver out of the backfield as the Broncos managed to hit Tom Brady 23 times over the course of the game.
This season marked DeGuglielmo’s 2nd season as the offense line coach for the New England Patriots. During his 1st season the Patriots only allowed 21 sacks over the course of the 2014 season as the Patriots played their way to a SuperBowl championship.
This season, however, was less effective for the Patriots offensive line as they gave up 38 sacks this season, 17 more than the previous season. Part of the reason for the drastic increase in sacks were the injuries the Patriots endured on the offensive line, which forced 3 rookies to take over 50% of the snaps on the season, something that any position coach would have trouble adjusting to.
Despite the presence of the injuries, it is really no surprise that the Patriots have elected to part ways with DeGuglielmo. The Patriots succeed or fail with Tom Brady, and an offensive line that allows him to be upwards of 20 times in a game is going to hinder the future hall of famers performance.
As a quarterback, one of the most important things to do in a game is to establish a comfortable throwing rhythm over the course of the game, and having the opposing defense living in your offensive backfield will disturb even the most veteran quarterback.
The Patriots are a team who, since Tom Brady took over at quarterback, have consistently been in the conversation as one of the best teams in the National Football League. One of the ways they have been able to stay up there is by consistently striving for the best coaching staff, and keeping their key players healthy.
The Patriots needed to make this hire to try and help an offensive line that, if it has a performance similar to the one this past season, they put their quarterback at a greater risk of injury, and Tom Brady is not getting any younger, a sever enough injury could hamper him for the remainder of his career, something the Patriots can’t afford to have happen.