The New England Patriots announced Bill O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Thursday. For both sides this is a reunion: O’Brien already held that position in 2011, in the final season of his previous five-year tenure with the club.
His prior experience in the Patriots organization played an important role in his decision to rejoin the club after an 11-year absence.
“Having worked here before, having grown up here — just a great opportunity for my family,” O’Brien told the Patriots’ in-house media production after his arrival. “Very excited. Yeah, very excited.”
Bill O’Brien returns to New England.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 27, 2023
1-on-1 with the new OC. pic.twitter.com/d3dgB2Xvqq
A Dorchester native, O’Brien originally joined the team in 2007 as an offensive assistant. He moved to wide receivers coach the following season before taking over the quarterback room in 2009. He held that position for three years, adding coordinator duties by 2011.
In his lone season at the job, O’Brien called the third-highest scoring offense in the NFL and helped the Patriots reach the Super Bowl. However, he departed after that season to pursue his head-coaching aspirations. Those took him to Penn State (2012-13) and the Houston Texans (2014-20) before he spent the last two years as offensive coordinator at Alabama.
Now, O’Brien is back where his coaching career really took off.
“I’ve had a lot of different experiences, but at the end of the day, the opportunity to come back here presented itself. It was something I couldn’t pass up,” he said. “So, I hope maybe I can bring some of those experiences to the table here and help our football team”
O’Brien will be busy right away. Not only will he be part of the Patriots’ contingent at the upcoming East-West Shrine Bowl, the 53-year-old will also be tasked with getting a New England offense back on track that struggled throughout the 2022 season.
Whether or not he will be the right guy to fix the unit and second-year quarterback Mac Jones remains to be seen. O’Brien, however, is ready to tackle the job head-on.
“I’m looking forward to getting back and working with Bill [Belichick], and working for Bill, and doing what’s best for the team,” he said. “That’s what this place is all about.”