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Report: Patriots hire Bill O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator

O’Brien will take over New England’s offense in 2023.

2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have found a new offensive coordinator, and it is their old one. Bill O’Brien, who already held the position back in 2011, will take over the previously vacant job, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Low.

O’Brien, 53, started his career at the collegiate level before arriving in New England in 2007. Starting out as an offensive assistant, he moved to wide receivers coach the following season and — following Josh McDaniels’ departure to Denver — took over his previous role as quarterbacks coach in 2009. After effectively serving as coordinator without the title for two years, he was officially named New England’s OC in 2011.

O’Brien spent one year in the position, leading the Patriots’ third-ranked scoring offense to a Super Bowl appearance. After the season, he took over as head coach at Penn State. Two years after that, he returned to the NFL as head coach of the Houston Texans.

The Texans finished with a winning record in five of his six full years at the job, earned four AFC South titles, and won a couple of playoff games. However, O’Brien was let go early in what was a tumultuous 2020 campaign for the organization. He resurfaced the following January as offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama, where he spent the last two seasons.

While seen as the favorite throughout the process, O’Brien was one of five coaches to interview for the job. Also on the list of candidates were Minnesota Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, Oregon associate head coach/run game coordinator/offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, Arizona Cardinals associate head coach/wide receivers Shawn Jefferson and in-house candidate Nick Caley, the Patriots’ tight ends coach.

It remains to be seen whether any of them will join O’Brien’s new staff in New England.