Bill O’Brien, the former Patriots offensive coordinator, Penn State and Houston Texans head coach, and current Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator is “considering NFL options” after being in talks with Georgia Tech to become their head coach, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz.
When Josh McDaniels left New England to become the Raiders head coach, many speculated that O’Brien would leave Tuscaloosa to return to his former role as Patriots offensive coordinator. He spent five years coaching the Patriots from 2007-2011 before becoming Penn State’s head coach in 2012.
New England instead opted to fill the hole with a combination of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, which has been an abject failure – to put it lightly. The Patriots rank just 21st in yards-per-game with 321.9 and 19th in points-per-game with 21.7.
Quarterback Mac Jones has also been hurt, benched, and brought back into action – and his play has regressed through no fault of his own.
When the Patriots decided to not bring O’Brien in, I wrote about what it could mean for Patricia:
In my opinion, they’re grooming Matt Patricia to be Bill Belichick’s replacement at head coach, and Joe Judge to be the next offensive coordinator – and I think it’ll happen sooner rather than later.
Matt Patricia already knows how to call an NFL defense. He grew up on it during his first stint here – learning all of the intricacies, schemes, and in’s and out’s that could be thrown at him – right next to the greatest coach of all time.
And last season – when Matt Patricia was Belichick’s right hand man in the front office – for a full season he learned every thing that you need to know about being a general manager. He was in the room for roster cuts, trade negotiations, and salary cap decisions.
Now this year – he learns the offense, and will have the ability to call the plays if and when he has to. I predict that the role eventually is handed to Judge – once they feel Patricia has the appropriate grasp.
They’re trying to build a three-headed monster in the Rocket Man.
However, three months later, with the offense in complete disarray and O’Brien now looking for opportunities outside of Alabama, this should be far from Belichick’s plan.
New England needs to pounce on the opportunity to bring him back. It may be the only chance to save their second-year quarterback.
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