Skip to main content

Report: Bill O'Brien Could Make Return To New England

A closeup of Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien.

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 04: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans walks on the sidelines while playing the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 4, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

It's been over a decade since Bill O'Brien prowled the sidelines with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. But it appears that the stars might be aligning for a reunion.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, O'Brien is seen as a potential replacement at offensive coordinator in New England. The Patriots could be losing current offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is interviewing for the head coaching job for the Las Vegas Raiders.

O'Brien previously held the job in 2011 after rising through the ranks over the previous four years. When he left New England to become the head coach at Penn State in 2012, McDaniels was brought on to replace him.

Belichick has a habit of bringing back assistants who previously left his side for greener pastures. He brought back both McDaniels and Matt Patricia after previous failed head coaching stints.

O'Brien returning to New England wouldn't raise so much as an eyebrow.

Bill O'Brien went 15-9 from 2012 to 2013 at Penn State, helping to restore the program in the aftermath of the Joe Paterno scandal. He was hired as head coach of the Houston Texans in 2014, making the playoffs four times in his first six seasons.

But after an 0-4 start to the 2020 season combined with some front office chaos, O'Brien was fired. He quickly latched on with Nick Saban on the Alabama Crimson Tide, where he helped turn Bryce Young into the first Heisman Trophy winning QB in school history.

It hasn't been long since O'Brien was effectively exiled from the NFL. But his return could be imminent.

Will Bill O'Brien return to the New England Patriots?