ESPN believes there will be a Patriots reunion this NFL offseason.
And no, we’re not talking about the Foxboro fantasy of Tom Brady coming back to New England and rejoining forces with Bill Belichick.
Several reports coming out of New England following the Patriots’ season-ending loss in Buffalo suggest big changes are coming to the organization. The biggest might be a replacement for Matt Patricia, as Belichick and company are conducting interviews to fill the offensive coordinator void Josh McDaniels left behind when he bolted for Las Vegas.
“The Patriots will try to resuscitate their offense by bringing back Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator,” Schultz predicted in a column for ESPN.com. “O’Brien’s two-year contract with Alabama ended after the Sugar Bowl, and he served as New England’s coordinator in 2011.”
The possibility of O’Brien returning to New England felt more likely a month ago when the Massachusetts native reportedly was “waiting” for a call from Belichick. The wheels in motion appear to have slowed down, though, as the Patriots as of last Tuesday reportedly had not contacted O’Brien, who might not be enamored with the job, anyway.
So, yes, O’Brien coaching up New England’s offense makes a lot of sense on paper. But the former Houston Texans coach has options if he wants to return to the NFL, so it’s no guarantee he works his way back to the Patriots.