Patriots fans clamoring for a reunion woke up to excellent news for New England's offense on Tuesday morning.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, former Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is returning to New England and being named offensive coordinator of the Patriots. O'Brien, who spent the last two seasons in Tuscaloosa, was previously with the Patriots from 2007-2011.
New England interviewed several candidates, including tight ends coach Nick Caley, Cardinals WRs coach Shawn Jefferson, Vikings WRs coach Keenan McCardell, and Oregon top assistant Adrian Klemm. In the end, O'Brien was the leading candidate and got the job.
The Patriots announced last week that they'd be conducting a search for a new offensive coordinator following their worst offensive season of the Bill Belichick era in 2022. After former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels departed to become the head coach of the Raiders, the Pats experimented with Matt Patricia as the de facto OC, and the results were inconsistent.
With O'Brien back at the helm, the Patriots offense could be a combination of New England's old system that O'Brien put his spin on for four seasons and quarterback Mac Jones's college offense at Alabama. The perfect blend between two successful schemes.
The relationship between the offensive coordinator and quarterback is always important, and the Pats new OC and quarterback will hit the ground running. Along with coaching at his alma mater for the last two seasons, there are reports that Jones and O'Brien worked together during the 2021 offseason as O'Brien began learning the Alabama playbook. Jones, known for his football acumen, helped O'Brien with the new system.
New England now turns its attention to upgrading their roster around Mac Jones and continuing to build on a defense that finished third in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric last season.
The Patriots began their search with a top candidate in mind, and they got their man with Bill O'Brien reportedly returning as New England's offensive coordinator for the 2023 season.