FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Invoice O’Brien will return to the Patriots after agreeing to a deal Tuesday to change into New England’s subsequent offensive coordinator, sources instructed ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Low.
O’Brien, 53, who spent the previous two seasons because the offensive coordinator beneath Nick Saban at Alabama, now’s again to the place his NFL profession started in 2007 as a training assistant.
In that first stint in New England, O’Brien rapidly rose by way of the ranks on Invoice Belichick’s teaching employees to quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, spending three years (2009-11) in that position earlier than departing for head-coaching positions at Penn State (2012-13) and with the Houston Texans (2014-20).
A Massachusetts native, O’Brien can be charged with enhancing a Patriots offense that dipped notably in most key areas in 2022, together with:
• Purple zone effectivity: eleventh (39 TDs in 63 journeys) to thirty second (19 TDs in 45 journeys)
• Third down: tenth (43.5%) to twenty seventh (34.8%)
• First downs: Tied-Ninth (362) to twenty eighth (288)
• Sacks: eighth (28 for 241 yards) to nineteenth (41 for 279 yards)
• Touchdowns scored: 48 to 31
Belichick did not identify an official offensive coordinator for the Patriots in 2022, leaning on Matt Patricia as the first playcaller regardless of Patricia’s main background within the NFL being on the defensive facet.
Belichick additionally oversaw a streamlining of the offense — altering the blocking terminology for offensive linemen — through which one among his objectives was to supply extra huge performs down the sector.
However the desired outcomes by no means got here to fruition, resulting in the Patriots, who’re notoriously tight-lipped about their intentions, publicly saying on Jan. 12 that they’d be interviewing for an offensive coordinator.
The Patriots spoke with O’Brien, present New England tight ends coach Nick Caley, Minnesota Vikings huge receivers coach Keenan McCardell, Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach Shawn Jefferson and Oregon affiliate head coach/offensive line/run-game coordinator Adrian Klemm.
Upon touchdown at Alabama, the place he labored intently with quarterback Bryce Younger, O’Brien had hung out with present Patriots quarterback Mac Jones — a Crimson Tide alum — going over the workforce’s offense.
With O’Brien headed again to the NFL, Saban can be searching for his sixth totally different offensive coordinator up to now eight seasons. The earlier 5 — Steve Sarkisian, Mike Locksley, Brian Daboll, Lane Kiffin and O’Brien — are all now both NFL head coaches/offensive coordinators or Energy 5 head coaches.
Saban is also trying to find a defensive coordinator after Pete Golding left for a similar place at Ole Miss earlier this month. The final time Saban introduced in two new coordinators in the identical yr was after the Crimson Tide’s 2017 nationwide championship season.