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Report: Patriots interview offensive coordinator candidate Bill O’Brien

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By: Bernd Buchmasser

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

O’Brien visited with the team on Thursday.

The New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator search continued on Thursday, with the team bringing in a top candidate for the vacant position. Bill O’Brien conducted an interview with the organization, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

O’Brien, 53, spent the last two years as offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama but his contract is set to expire at the end of February. An experienced coach, he spent several years in the NFL before joining the Crimson Tide — including in New England.

Originally joining the organization in 2007 as an offensive assistant, O’Brien quickly rose through the ranks. He coached wide receivers in 2008, quarterbacks and 2009 and 2010, and by 2011 was promoted to offensive coordinator. Immediately leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl appearance, O’Brien became one of the hottest names on the coaching market.

He used his momentum to join his alma mater, Penn State, for a two-year stint between 2012 and 2013. Afterwards, he served in the same position with the Houston Texans. O’Brien won four AFC South titles in his first six seasons in Houston, but he was fired early in the 2020 season after an 0-4 start.

He joined Nick Saban in Alabama, but the belief was that he would return to the NFL eventually. Now, he is at least getting another look by the team that previously employed him.

O’Brien has now become the fifth coach linked to the Patriots’ vacant offensive coordinator job. He is joining in-house candidate Nick Caley, Minnesota Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, Oregon assistant Adrian Klemm, and Arizona Cardinals associate head coach/wide receivers Shawn Jefferson.

Originally posted on Pats Pulpit