FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Bill O’Brien is back with the New England Patriots.
The team announced Thursday that O’Brien was hired as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The move comes 12 days after the Patriots said they were searching for a new leader of their offense following a disappointing season that saw second-year quarterback Mac Jones struggle under an offense largely directed by play caller Matt Patricia and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge.
The team ranked in the bottom half of the league in several categories and last in the NFL in red zone touchdowns.
The move to hire O’Brien, New England’s OC during the 2011 season when the team went to the Super Bowl, is expected to bring major changes to the Patriots’ offensive scheme.
“I am looking forward to working with Bill again,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. “He is an outstanding coach and an asset to our staff.”
What coaching roles Patricia, who also oversaw the offensive line, and Judge will have next season remains unclear.
O’Brien becomes the first official offensive coordinator Belichick has hired since Josh McDaniels left following the 2021 season to take the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coaching job.
O’Brien spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama. Before that, he was the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2014 to 2020, leading them to four playoff appearances before being fired in 2020 after a 0-4 start.
He also served as Penn State’s coach from 2012 and 2013. That followed a four-year stint as a Patriots assistant in which he coached receivers and quarterbacks before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2011. That season New England finished ranked third in points and second in yards.
The Patriots staff will coach the West team at next week’s East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas. One of O’Brien’s first duties with the Patriots will be serving in a supervisory role for that game along with Belichick and Jerod Mayo.
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