Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien continues to be speculated for a return to the NFL. Ten days after being linked to the same position with the New England Patriots, now O’Brien is being suggested by the Tampa Bay Times for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator role.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that O’Brien was contacted by Tampa Bay last year when offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was expected to land the head coaching job in Jacksonville. O’Brien, who has close ties with general manager Jason Licht dating back to their days with the Patriots, was in line to replace Leftwich, per Stroud. The Jaguars, however, hired Doug Pederson and Leftwich remained with Tampa Bay. A year later, the Buccaneers may be looking to move on from Leftwich.
In this hypothetical, O’Brien would reunite with future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, whom he coached from 2007-11 on Bill Belichick’s staff.
O’Brien recently shot down the suggestion of his interest specifically in the Patriots as Alabama prepared for its bowl game.
“The focus for me and for this coaching staff and for these players has really been on these games that we’re playing. … I haven’t spoken to anybody in New England since probably last April,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien has served as Alabama’s offensive coordinator since 2021 when he replaced Steve Sarkisian. The 53-year-old O’Brien has also previously been a head coach at Penn State (2012-13) and for the Houston Texans (2014-20). During the 2012 season, O’Brien was named the recipient of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award.
Alabama’s offense averaged 41.1 points and scored 67 touchdowns under O’Brien en route to an 11-2 record this season.
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