Breer: Bill O'Brien ‘very interested' in returning to NFL


It appears Bill O'Brien returning to the New England Patriots coaching staff could be a real possibility in 2023.

O'Brien, a Patriots offensive coach from 2007-11, had been considered a potential replacement for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels prior to the 2002 season. Instead, he returned to Alabama and Matt Patricia took over as New England's play-caller.

A look at the '20 Under 25' candidates for the Patriots

According to The MMQB's Albert Breer, O'Brien has his sights set on an NFL return next season.

"I've heard he's very interested in coming back to the NFL," Breer said Thursday on Patriots Pregame Live. "I think ideally for him it would be in a head coach role. I'm not sure that's in the cards, so in all likelihood that would be as a coordinator.

"I think one thing that's important to remember here, when he went to Alabama he didn't take his family with him. His family stayed in Houston. So going to an NFL team I think would give him a sort of location where he could bring his family with him. I think that's an important element of it.

"I think the other piece of it that's important to watch here is the fact that these college jobs are filling up and his name hasn't really been mentioned for any of them. I heard at one point Nebraska would have been interested or Arizona State would have been interested, and the fact that he's not involved in these searches I think is another sign that he has his eyes on the NFL."

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he hasn't spoken to O'Brien about returning to Foxboro. Of course, there should be plenty of time for those conversations to take place this offseason.

"I'm not saying for sure he'll be gone from Alabama, but I can tell you his camp has looked at options in the NFL and there's a decent likelihood that he'll be somewhere in the NFL next year," Breer added. "Obviously, the question then will be whether it will be here or not, but he still obviously has a great relationship with a lot of the people in the organization in New England."

Hear everything Breer had to say about O'Brien's potential return in the video above.

Contact Us