Patriots Rumors: Why Bill O’Brien ‘Not Gung-Ho’ About OC Job

New England will interview candidates this week


Jan 15, 2023

Bill O’Brien seems like a perfect fit for the Patriots, but does he see it that way?

O’Brien, who spent one season as New England’s offensive coordinator in 2011, reportedly is a leading candidate for the Patriots’ OC vacancy. And with Bill Belichick set to interview coaches for the role this week, it might not be long before O’Brien is announced as Matt Patricia’s replacement.

However, Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard on Saturday indicated that O’Brien, who spent the last two seasons with Alabama, might not be sold on a return to Foxboro.

“He checks all the boxes — knows the system, can coach the QB, has a relationship with (Mac) Jones, is not an outsider — and has probably learned a few new-age tricks in the college game,” Bedard wrote. “Last I heard, and this can change as quickly as the Patriots’ policy on commenting on contracts, he was not gung-ho about this gig due to the lack in clarity about the setup. If Belichick told O’Brien he had autonomy, including over assistants, that might make it more attractive.”

Whether Belichick would be willing to give O’Brien the power he reportedly wants is something only he knows. That said, Thursday night’s unprecedented statement released by the Patriots suggests team owner Robert Kraft might be pulling rank after yet another disappointing season in New England.

If Kraft wants O’Brien, and all it will take for a reunion is to give O’Brien some control over his staff, there might not be anything that Belichick can do about it. That’s just pure speculation, though.

Thankfully, this week should provide plenty of news on one of the more fascinating Patriots storylines in recent memory.

Thumbnail photo via Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY Sports Images
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