Report: Patriots bringing back Alabama's O'Brien as OC
O'Brien, who served as Alabama's offensive coordinator, previously spent 2007-11 on the Patriots' staff. He began his first stint with New England as an offensive assistant but also coached wide receivers and quarterbacks and served as offensive coordinator in 2011.
The Patriots announced earlier in January they would begin looking for candidates after going the entire 2022 season without officially naming an offensive coordinator. The franchise opted to give offensive play-calling duties to assistant coach Matt Patricia, who had never called plays on that side of the ball before.
New England's offense regressed mightily in 2022, as its average points per game fell from 27.2 in 2021 to 21.4 this season. The Patriots also ranked 26th in yardage, 27th in third-down conversion rate, and last in the red zone.
O'Brien previously served as head coach of the Houston Texans for seven seasons, compiling a 52-48 record from 2014-20 while earning four playoff appearances. Houston fired him during the 2020 campaign after an 0-4 start.
O'Brien's replacement at Alabama will be head coach Nick Saban's sixth offensive coordinator in the last eight seasons, Low adds.