New England Patriots

The Patriots’ offensive coordinator search is over. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday morning that the team is hiring current Alabama offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien, and naming him offensive coordinator.

O’Brien is the first person to officially hold the OC title in New England since Josh McDaniels left last January. Matt Patricia called plays without the OC title this past season, and the Patriots’ offensive rank dropped from sixth in 2021 to 17th.

Throughout the process, O’Brien was considered to be and reported to be the favorite for the job. His past ties to New England, both in terms of coaching and growing up in Andover, Mass., highlighted those discussions.


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  • O’Brien, 53, comes to New England after spending the last two years at Alabama as the OC and quarterbacks coach. Those teams ranked sixth and fourth in scoring his two years running the offense, and quarterback Bryce Young was named a Heisman winner and is projected to be the top overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

    Prior to his time at Alabama, O’Brien spent nine seasons as a head coach – two at Penn State and then seven with the Houston Texans before being let go in 2020. Before that, his break in coaching came with the Patriots. He replaced Josh McDaniels the first time he left as the play-caller and quarterbacks coach from 2009-2011, holding the offensive coordinator title for the final of those two years.

    That resume makes O’Brien uniquely qualified for this job. The biggest thing he’ll need to do is clean up and modernize the Patriots’ offensive system. He’s familiar with the old offense – something that should suit now third-year quarterback Mac Jones – but can bring in some more modern concepts that he ran at Alabama.

  • TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 08: Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien converses with Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during pregame warmups prior to facing the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 08, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 08: Offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien converses with Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during pregame warmups prior to facing the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 08, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • When it comes to Jones, that’s another element that made O’Brien the right candidate. In a job that’s going to involve getting Jones out of the rut he fell into in 2022, O’Brien was the only coach the Patriots interviewed with a background working with quarterbacks. He’s also worked with Jones directly in the spring of 2021. As Jones was preparing for the draft that year, he also taught an incoming O’Brien the Alabama playbook so he’d be prepared to lead the Tide’s offense that fall.

    With O’Brien hired, the next step will be for the Patriots to fill out the rest of their offensive coaching staff. It’s possible O’Brien will also take over as quarterbacks coach – a title he had both last year at Alabama and during his first stint in New England – after Joe Judge held that role last year. Offensive line coach is a spot that could be open as well, with Patricia’s future now uncertain. Tight ends coach Nick Caley may also leave after interviewing for the Jets’ offensive coordinator job.

    After that, the player personnel portion of the offseason will begin for the Patriots. For a full look ahead, check out our Patriots’ offseason plan here.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.