According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Patriots completed an interview on Thursday with Bill O'Brien as their search for an offensive coordinator nears the completion of its first week. O'Brien, who was previously with the Patriots from 2007-2011, is widely seen as a favorite for the open position, as his familiarity with Bill Belichick and the Patriots system, along with some brief experience with Mac Jones when their paths crossed at Alabama, make him a uniquely qualified candidate.
Earlier this week the team reportedly interviewed a number of candidates, including Bill Belichick's first draft pick with the Patriots, Adrian Klemm, who is currently as assistant head coach/run game coordinator/offensive line coach with Oregon, Cardinals wide receivers coach and former Patriots receiver Shawn Jefferson, Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, as well as current Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley.
With five candidates now having completed interviews and a number of newly opened offensive coordinator positions around the league, the Patriots could make a move sooner than later to secure and round out their coaching staff. While the team released a statement last week that a new OC would be hired, how many actual offensive coaches the Patriots are looking to hire remains to be seen.
O'Brien turned his Patriots experience into a successful stint at Penn State, going 15-9 in two seasons before going back to the NFL as head coach of the Houston Texans. O'Brien went 54-52 with Houston, coaching the Texans from 2013-2020. His arrival at Alabama in early 2021 gave him a brief window of crossing paths with Mac Jones, with a report from NFL Network's Mike Giardi that Mac was a key part in getting O'Brien familiar with the Crimson Tide's attack.
After finishing 2022 17th in points, 26th in yards and 24th overall in DVOA, the Patriots offense needed to make some significant changes this offseason and less than two weeks after missing the playoffs it appears they are on the right track.