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Patriots bring back Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator

New offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien watches quarterback Bryce Young take a snap during practice. The Alabama Crimson Tide opened practice for the 2021 season as they prepare to defend the 2020 National Championship Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Alabama First Practice

Bill O’Brien is returning to the New England Patriots as the team’s offensive coordinator, reuniting with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Mac Jones.

The Patriots and O’Brien agreed to a contract on Tuesday based on reports from multiple outlets. O’Brien first resigned his post as offensive coordinator at Alabama, a job he held the past two seasons, to step back into the role he held in New England before leaving in 2011 to become head coach at Penn State.

New England operated without a named coordinator in 2022 and production declined massively. The Patriots dipped from 48 touchdowns in Jones’ rookie season to 31 last season.

Part of O’Brien’s indoctrination at Alabama was learning the existing system from Jones, the outgoing quarterback preparing for the NFL draft. Jones was selected in the first round by the Patriots.

O’Brien, 53, was selected over an interview pool of candidates for offensive coordinator that included Minnesota Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell and Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach Shawn Jefferson.

O’Brien was first hired in New England in 2007 as a coaching assistant with the Patriots. He coached quarterbacks and became offensive coordinator before stints at Penn State (2012-13) and as head coach of the Houston Texans (2014-2020).

–Field Level Media