The Patriots offense has struggled mightily in 2022, and the organization may turn to a familiar face to right the ship. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Bill O’Brien is emerging as “a strong option” to be New England’s offensive coordinator next season.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard O’Brien’s name connected to the gig. He was mentioned as a potential option when Josh McDaniels left New England for Las Vegas, but Bill Belichick ultimately didn’t want to steal O’Brien from good friend Nick Saban. O’Brien has served as Alabama’s offensive coordinator for the past two seasons. Rapoport notes that the coach gave Saban a two-year commitment when he joined the program, and no extension has materialized. This has left an NFL return as a “real thought” for O’Brien.
Naturally, the Patriots would be a fit. O’Brien was on New England’s staff for five seasons, culminating in him earning the role of OC. The coach eventually left for Penn State before returning to the NFL as the Texans’ head coach. Houston went 52-48 in O’Brien’s six-plus seasons, including four playoff nods.
Further, the Patriots offense has taken a major step back during Mac Jones‘ second season in the NFL, although the organization hasn’t necessarily put the former first-round pick in a position to succeed. The Patriots have turned to former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and former special teams coordinator Joe Judge to help guide their offense, and as a result, New England ranks in the bottom half of the NFL in most offensive categories.
“I think it goes back to just trusting the process of everything and doing whatever you can do to become a great football player,” Jones said recently (via Rapoport). “Eventually that will show up on film. So a lot of things as an offense, it’s 11 guys and you have to try to push everybody as a quarterback to do the right thing and make sure we’re all on the same page. We’ve done that at times. But just getting that consistency. Obviously with myself, too.”