Not long after initial reports surfaced about the New England Patriots hiring Bill O’Brien as the organization’s next offensive coordinator, fans and media members alike shifted the conversation to what it could mean for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins, who spent six years with O’Brien as a member of the Houston Texans, has surfaced in trade rumors in recent weeks. And the Patriots, at least at the time of the initial report from The Score’s Jordan Schultz, made plenty of sense as a potential landing spot for the 30-year-old receiver. They could use a highly-skilled wideout after previously (and unsuccessfully) relying on depth pieces.
Might that have changed now with O’Brien’s reported arrival? After all, the relationship of the two wasn’t great during their time together in Houston. Hopkins, specifically, said he had “no relationship” with his then-head coach.
One NFL executive, however, seems to believe the re-connection could still work. Speaking with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler before the O’Brien hiring was reported, one unnamed executive acknowledged how it would be an interesting situation but that it could still work.
“That would be interesting to pair Bill O’Brien with Hopkins if O’Brien ends up with the Patriots OC job,” the NFC exec told Fowler for a story published Tuesday morning. “They might not be friendly. But they had success together with subpar quarterback play, so maybe it can work.”
In regards to the Patriots quarterback, Mac Jones reportedly is “very” excited about the team hiring O’Brien, who the signal-caller worked with at Alabama. It now gives the third-year quarterback no excuses entering a crucial season for both he and the Patriots.