The offseason coaching carousel continues to spin as the first month of the offseason enters its final week. The latest news: the New England Patriots have hired offensive coordinator/QB coach Bill O’Brien away from Alabama to the same position. O’Brien held this title under Bill Belichick back in 2011 before being hired as the first permanent Penn State head coach of the post-Paterno era. He’ll reunite with former quarterback Mac Jones to try to fix an anemic offense that held the team back from competing for anything meaningful.
So what, you may ask, does that have to do with the Iowa Hawkeyes? Sure, “try to fix an anemic offense that held the team back from competing for anything meaningful” sounds pretty Iowa...except the try to fix part. So what’s the relation?
Well, Iowa OC Brian Ferentz, who does NOT work for head coach Kirk Ferentz, was also part of the last Belichick/O’Brien administration in New England, serving as an offensive quality control assistant from 2008 to 2010 before spending 2011 as the tight ends coach. While the Patriots can’t boast prime Rob Gronkowski and pre-arrest Aaron Hernandez on the same roster, surely Hunter Henry could benefit from his wisdom (preferably the coaching he gave Gronk and not the coaching he gave Hernandez).
Why would New England hire Ferentz away? Well...there’s nothing in it for them, but it does represent some hope for Iowa fans desperate to find some way out of having Brain Fartz as the mastermind of the offense once more. The thinking goes that Kirk knows firing Brian would effectively end his coaching career and therefore no matter how bad things get he won’t
pull the trigger be particularly happy with his and Brian’s boss Gary Barta if he should pull the trigger...but if his old buddy Bill and HIS buddy Bill would do Kirk a solid, it would protect Kirk’s Gary Barta’s boy, ensuring his coaching career continues.
This would then free up the offensive coordinator position at Iowa, allowing whoever it is that hires the offensive coordinator at Iowa to move in a new direction.
It might be a long shot, but there’s no extinguishing the hope of the Hawkeye faithful.