Morning Sports Update

Bill O’Brien’s return to the Patriots in 2023 is ‘probably going to happen’

O'Brien is currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Bill O'Brien Alabama
Bill O'Brien during an Alabama game in Oct. 2022. AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

The Celtics were paced by Jayson Tatum (39 points) and Jaylen Brown (38 points) in a 126-102 win over the Rockets on Tuesday. Boston returns to action on Thursday night (7:30 p.m.) at home against the Clippers.

Also on Tuesday, the Bruins lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Senators, but have an immediate chance to return to form tonight in New Jersey against the Devils at 7:30 p.m.

The Patriots continue to prepare for a high-stakes matchup at home against the Dolphins on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The latest report on Bill O’Brien’s potential New England return: The Patriots’ 2022 season isn’t even over yet, but the rumors about the team’s future coaching staff are already beginning to swirl.


Bill O’Brien, the Patriots’ offensive coordinator from 2011 (and current offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama) has been identified as a potential addition to next year’s New England staff.

The latest report came from NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran during an interview on WEEI.

“Folks who are knowledgeable in this that I reached out to in the last couple of days who would have insight, I said, ‘Would Bill [Belichick] want Bill O’Brien?'” Curran explained. “Because that question has really not been asked. There’s a perception that, ‘Hey, it’s a done deal. Of course Bill would want him back.’ But I asked and the individual said, ‘Absolutely.’

“They said, ‘I’m surprised if it’s not in the works or a done deal already,'” Curran continued. “So, to me, all the conversations that we’ve had about Bill O’Brien in the media and in the fanbase, behind the scenes there’s an expectation from people who know more than us and know the relationships better that, yeah, that’s probably going to happen.”

Exactly what that would mean for current offensive assistant coaches Matt Patricia and Joe Judge isn’t clear, but ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler offered a potential answer in a recent column.


“As for Matt Patricia and Joe Judge (who were appointed this year to head up the offense in spite of their past credentials being mainly on defense and special teams), my guess is Belichick would find other roles on the staff for them,” Fowler wrote, “because he does believe in them as coaches and values trust above pretty much anything else when looking for assistants.”

Trivia: Which other former Alabama offensive coordinator under Nick Saban is currently a first year NFL head coach?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He left Alabama to become an assistant with the Bills before taking over his new job this season.

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On this day: In 1971, the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to (eventually) beat the 76ers, 120-116. John Havlicek led all scorers with 36 points and 10 rebounds. Dave Cowens added 16 points and 17 rebounds.

1971 Celtics 76ers

Daily highlight: Jayson Tatum’s windmill dunk added an exclamation point near the end of the Celtics’ win.

Trivia answer: Brian Daboll


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