Patriots make changes on coaching staff

The New England Patriots have a new offensive coordinator.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind they didn't have one last year.

Quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien has called the plays the past two seasons. The Patriots officially added the coordinator title Friday.

The title is mightily deserved. O'Brien has done a wonderful job overseeing the offense. A marvelous season from unanimous MVP quarterback Tom Brady didn't hurt. The Patriots also were deemed to have the NFL's best offensive line, and O'Brien's boss was voted Associated Press 2010 Coach of the Year.

But O'Brien deserves partial credit for those honors. He helped overhaul an offense that jettisoned receiver Randy Moss (the final straw likely a blowup with O'Brien) and running back Laurence Maroney, successfully incorporated overachieving backs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, thrived with two rookie tight ends and dealt with dicey issues along the offensive line.

The Patriots' coaching staff became a bit of a curiosity one year ago, when Bill Belichick revealed he wouldn't have any coordinators on his staff -- not on offense, defense or special teams.

Also Friday, the Patriots announced linebackers coach Matt Patricia was moved to safeties coach. Defensive assistant Patrick Graham has been promoted to linebackers coach. Offensive and special-teams assistant Brian Flores will assume Graham's old role.

ESPNBoston writers Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak reported head strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik interviewed with the Dallas Cowboys this week. Woicik's contract is up. So the Patriots apparently are in the market for a new strength coach.

Hey, I hear Sal Alosi isn’t doing anything these days.