Bill O’Brien’s name has frequently come up as an offensive coordinator candidate for the New England Patriots.
Despite rampant speculation, the two sides haven’t begun formally discussing a pairing.
According to NBCSports Boston’s Tom E. Curran, the Patriots have not contacted O’Brien since getting knocked out of playoff contention Sunday.
It hasn’t even been two full days, but Curran noted that Bill Belichick hired Josh McDaniels to replace O’Brien during the playoffs 11 years ago.
Patriots fans are antsy for a change after watching the team finish 26th in total offense behind Matt Patricia.
But they also have eyes on another candidate. The Arizona Cardinals fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury on Monday. Albert Breer previously reported that the Pats “have done their research” on the former New England quarterback.
O’Brien spent five seasons on Belichick’s staff before going to Penn State in 2012. He’s worked as Alabama’s offensive coordinator for the last two seasons after a stint as the Houston Texans’ head coach.
Even if the Pats are interested in a reunion, they could have competition for those services. The Tennessee Titans fired offensive coordinator Todd Downing; O’Brien worked alongside Titans head coach Mike Vrabel as O’Brien’s defensive coordinator in Houston.
The Patriots went 8-9 behind a listless offense despite scoring eight touchdowns on defense and special teams. They’re 25-25 since Tom Brady’s departure.
New England should eventually add an offensive-minded coach this offseason.
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