Bill O’Brien’s return to Patriots could ‘make a lot of sense’ if Josh McDaniels leaves, per insider

"We know Belichick likes to go back to the well."

Quarterback Mac Jones and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels talk before a game. Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Despite all the rumors surrounding Josh McDaniels, NFL insider Jason La Canfora believes it’s more likely than not that McDaniels will stay with the Patriots.

While acknowledging that the Raiders might be a possible fit, he doesn’t seem to think it’s likely the Patriots’ offensive coordinator will leave to become a head coach.

“There’s not a whole lot of opportunities out there right now that look like they’re a fit for Josh McDaniels at this point, with what he’s accomplished and probably knowing he’s only going to get one more chance to be a head coach,” La Canfora said. “People know he’s going to be very judicious about where he goes and what feels like a match. Teams factor that into their equation.”


If McDaniels were to leave, La Canfora said, one intriguing name to keep an eye on is Bill O’Brien. O’Brien, a Dorchester native, coached with the Patriots from 2007-2011. After several other stops, he joined Alabama this past season as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach under Nick Saban.

La Canfora pointed out that the Patriots have only had three offensive coordinators since Tom Brady entered the league – McDaniels, Charlie Weis, and O’Brien. He said it could end up being a fit, as Bill Belichick and Saban have a connection, Mac Jones played at Alabama, and O’Brien has ties to New England.

O’Brien recently met with the Jaguars to interview for their head coaching vacancy, but multiple reports have indicated that it didn’t go well. If O’Brien wants to come back to the NFL, La Canfora said, it could “make a lot of sense” for him to return to New England.

“We know Belichick likes to go back to the well,” La Canfora said.


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