{{ timeAgo('2023-01-24 06:49:20 -0600') }} football Edit

Alabama OC Bill O'Brien leaves for same job with New England Patriots

Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien watches quarterback Bryce Young take a snap during practice. The Alabama Crimson Tide opened practice for the 2021 season as they prepare to defend the 2020 National Championship Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.
Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien watches quarterback Bryce Young take a snap during practice. The Alabama Crimson Tide opened practice for the 2021 season as they prepare to defend the 2020 National Championship Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.

After months of speculation, Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is making his return to the NFL.

According to a report from ESPN Adam Schefter, O'Brien is leaving to become the offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots.

O'Brien just finished his second season as the team's offensive play-caller. This year's offense finished 11th nationally in total offense, tallying 477 yards per game. Alabama was also tied for fourth in scoring offense as it averaged 41.1 points per game. Despite ranking in the top 15 in both categories, the offense struggled to maintain its dynamic form from the 2020 season under Steve Sarkesian. Despite tallying 465 yards of total offense against LSU, Alabama failed to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter as fell 32-31 to the Tigers in overtime.

When asked about his future with the team during the Sugar Bowl, O'Brien said he was committed to Alabama despite rumors swirling around his connection with the Patriots. O'Brien maintained that although he had colleagues in the NFL, he said he hadn't spoken to any Patriots personnel since April.

"I mean, I just -- I talk -- I have a lot of coaching friends in the NFL," O'Brien said. "So yeah, there are some of my closest friends. But relative to working in the NFL, no. Relative to working here, like I said, I love it here. I love my experience here.

I'm very focused on this game coming up, and then whatever conversations happen after this game, those will take place when they take place. But really just focused on this game and doing as good a job as I can with the players and the coaching staff to have a productive offense on Saturday."

O’Brien was hired by the Patriots in 2007 after 13 years as a college assistant at his alma mater Brown University and at Georgia Tech. He later served as New England’s offensive play-caller from 2009-11. He then became the head coach at Penn State (2012-13) and for the Houston Texans (2014-20) before joining Alabama last season.