Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is believed to be eyeing a return to the National Football League next season.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, O’Brien is a “strong choice to return” to the New England Patriots in 2023.
If he returns, he is expected to take on the same offensive coordinator role as the Patriots, the title he held in 2011.
That would make him Mac Jones’ main coach.
O’Brien has worked under Nick Saban as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator for two years, during which time Bryce Young won the 2021 Heisman Trophy.
However, Saban said the Crimson Tide will return to the Rumpus-Option offense next season after it favors Young.
O’Brien is in the final year of his two-year contract with Alabama. His name has been mentioned in numerous college head coaching jobs over the past few months.
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Nevertheless, O’Brien calls a Crimson Tide play against Kansas State at the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
A former head coach of the Texans and Penn State, O’Brien made his first stint in the NFL with New England starting in 2007.
During his time on the staff in various offensive assistant roles from 2007 to 2011. Ranked 2nd with 393.1.
Since he left, New England has averaged three points less per game.
The Patriots’ offense faltered again in 2022, leading to a public display of frustration from Jones and others.
Under the leadership of Bill Belichick and playcaller Matt Patricia, New England ranks 17th in the league in points per game (21.4) and 25th in yards per contest (319.5).
In a Dec. 5 interview with WEEI, Belichick downplayed the need for significant adjustments, stating: I don’t think we’re going to make many drastic changes at this point…it’s too hard to do. “
However, the Patriots are 7-8 out of the AFC playoff picture after losing to the Bengals on Saturday.