Morning Sports Update

Albert Breer explained why Bill O’Brien could return to the Patriots in 2023

"I think that could be in play here, absolutely."

Bill O'Brien
Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and quarterback Bryce Young in Oct. 2022. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Bruins defeated the Flyers 4-1 on Thursday. David Krejci notched a pair of goals to help Boston stay undefeated at home to start the season.

Tonight, the Celtics face the Pelicans in New Orleans at 8:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the Patriots face the Jets at Gillette Stadium at 1 p.m.

The possibility of Bill O’Brien’s future return to the Patriots: Given the struggles of the Patriots’ offense for much of the season — New England ranks near the bottom of the league in both total offense and turnovers — speculation about the future of the team’s offensive coaching roles is likely to continue.


The latest version came from NFL reporter Albert Breer, speaking during a recent appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand.”

“I think what happens at Alabama is interesting, and I think everybody here should be paying attention to it,” Breer explained. “Is it possible that Nick [Saban] and Bill [Belichick] talk and [Bill] O’Brien wants to come back [to New England] and Nick maybe feels like it’s time to change their offense a little bit after, God forbid, they lose two games?

“I think that could be in play here, absolutely,” Breer added of a possible O’Brien-Patriot reunion. “And that’s why I would watch really closely the college coaching carousel. [Bill] O’Brien’s name has been mentioned for some of these jobs, like Nebraska’s one. Nebraska is said to be interested in him. So if he has opportunity with some of the college jobs and doesn’t even interview, then that tells you he wants to go back to the NFL.”

O’Brien, 53, was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2011, having held other offensive assistant roles on New England’s staff going back to 2007. He’s currently the offensive coordinator under Saban at Alabama.

Following the 2021 season, O’Brien’s name was linked with the vacant role on the Patriots’ staff left by Josh McDaniels’ departure to the Raiders, but Belichick ultimately decided to give Joe Judge and Matt Patricia elevated roles with the offense.


Trivia: Which future New York Jets second-round pick played for Bill O’Brien in his final season as head coach of Penn State in 2013?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Quarterback.

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