The Washington Post

Little change this week for a Patriots’ coaching staff in flux

The Patriots’ offensive coaching staff is in flux, with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien hired as the head coach at Penn State and former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels added to the staff during the postseason. But O’Brien has remained with the team through the Super Bowl and players say they’ve noticed little difference in the operation of the team.

“I haven’t been able to tell that he’s going to be a coach somewhere else after this season,” Welker said. “He’s been consistent, just like he has this whole year. Nothing has really changed with him.”

Said O’Brien: “I’ve been asked that question a million times, and it’s really about the people at both ends. Bill [Belichick] has really helped here as far as the offensive staff and some administrative people that have helped me in New England when I haven’t been here. And then I think I’ve put together one of the best staffs in the country at Penn State, and they’ve hit the ground running up there.”

McDaniels has contributed but has kept a relatively low profile, according to Welker.

“He’s helped out and everything…. He’s in all the meetings and everything else. But for the most part he’s just kind of sitting back and letting Billy do his thing,” Welker said. . . .

Super Bowl injury notes

Tight end Rob Gronkowski sat out the Patriots’ practice Wednesday because of the ankle injury that he suffered in the AFC championship game. He was the only Patriots player not to participate in the practice, according to a pool report. Left tackle Matt Light, who was sick earlier in the week, practiced.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw participated in the Giants’ practice even after Coach Tom Coughlin said earlier in the day he didn’t expect Bradshaw to practice. Bradshaw generally has sat out Wednesday practices because of an ailing foot but has continued to play with the injury.

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Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.



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