The New England Patriots could have a new offensive coordinator within the next few days. But they’ve yet to finalize anything with their reported “primary target.”
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer on Monday reported Bill O’Brien is “the leader in the clubhouse” for New England’s OC position and said he “wouldn’t be surprised if (O’Brien) lands it early this week.”
The Patriots, though, aren’t the only team with O’Brien on their radar.
With the Cardinals hiring Patriots alum Monti Ossenfort as their general manager, Breer indicated O’Brien could be a candidate for Arizona’s open head-coaching job. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported the same on Sunday.
O’Brien also has “taken calls from just about every team with a coordinator opening,” per Breer’s report. There currently are 10 teams with OC vacancies, and that number could swell to as high as 13 once Carolina, Denver and Houston hire new head coaches.
O’Brien previously worked as a Patriots assistant from 2007-11, coaching quarterbacks and calling offensive plays for three of those seasons.
The Patriots also interviewed Keenan McCardell, Adrian Klemm, Shawn Jefferson and Nick Caley during their coordinator search. Caley is the Patriots’ current tight ends coach; McCardell, Klemm and Jefferson all played under Belichick in either New England or Cleveland.
It remains to be seen whether Matt Patricia and Joe Judge — the unofficial leaders of New England’s offense this season — will stick around in different roles once the new OC is hired.
“Would they accept moves back to defense and special teams?” Breer wrote. “I’m really not sure they would.”