New England Patriots Rumors: 2 candidates to replace Josh McDaniels

Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator Bill O'Brien (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator Bill O'Brien (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
New England Patriots
Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots offensive coordinator candidate No. 1: Bill O’Brien

At this point, I would be shocked if Bill O’Brien doesn’t end up replacing McDaniels as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator. It’s been reported that the Patriots had begun looking at O’Brien as a potential replacement for McDaniels well before he is hired, and now that McDaniels is gone, that opens the door for O’Brien to make a return to New England.

Similar to Judge, O’Brien became quite well known due to a disastrous end to his head coaching stint with the Houston Texans. He built up a pretty solid team that always seemed to come up just short against the Patriots, and just when they seemed to be reaching their potential, O’Brien blew it all up. O’Brien was quickly fired after an 0-4 start to the 2020 season by the Texans front office, and it left many NFL fans wondering how the Texans managed to throw away such a good team.

O’Brien already has experience in the Patriots system, as he was the offensive playcaller from 2009-2011 after McDaniels left for Denver. After getting fired by Houston, O’Brien latched on with the Alabama Crimson Tide for the 2021 season as their offensive coordinator, and he helped lead Alabama back to their second straight National Championship Game.

While the Patriots soon-to-be second year quarterback Mac Jones is a fellow Alabama alum, he and O’Brien never officially crossed paths there. However, when O’Brien needed to learn Alabama’s offensive playbook, he ended up getting taught by none other than Jones himself. This previously established relationship with Jones should be what gives him the inside track for the job.

dark. Next. So, what really is next for Tom Brady?

The main goal of whoever is the next offensive coordinator for the Patriots is going to be to help Jones in his development as an NFL quarterback. Given that O’Brien already has experience with the Patriots offense, Alabama’s offense, and working with Jones, I would say that he should be a shoe-in for the position. Whether that ends up happening remains to be seen, but it’s clear the New England Patriots have some solid candidates to fill their offensive coordinator opening.