Former Patriots Coach’s Return ‘Feels Too Obvious’ Per Analyst


By most accounts–even second-year quarterback Mac Jones–the New England Patriots offense is a mess. Where does the blame belong? Many are pointing to Matt Patricia being the play-caller and defacto offensive coordinator as the main reason for the struggles.

Before the season started, head coach Bill Belichick said to blame him if things didn’t go well, so we’ll be the first to do that, as New England’s offense is ranked 21st in the NFL in passing yards per game and 20th in points per game.

While Belichick gets the blame for putting Patricia in a position to fail and arguably stagnate Jones’ growth as a quarterback, it would appear the Patriots need to make a change when it comes to their offensive philosophy and leadership. A potential return of former offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has been mentioned. Most recently, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell said BOB’s return “as offensive coordinator this offseason just feels too obvious” while the Patriots struggled mightily on Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills.

Patriots Nation would likely rejoice if that happened, but it is unclear where that would leave Patricia. He and Belichick appear to have a bond and mutual respect, but removing Patricia from his post would be a demotion even if he lands in a different position within the organization.

Patricia appeared to return to New England after failing miserably as a head coach with the Detroit Lions to repair his coaching resume. That hasn’t happened up to now. If O’Brien comes in and takes over, it will have strung two straight failed assignments together for the once-coveted defensive-minded coach.

What is Bill O’Brien Doing Now?

O’Brien currently serves as the offensive coordinator for Nick Saban at the University of Alabama. Saban and Belichick have a longstanding friendship. It is believed Belichick’s loyalty to Saban is what kept him from plucking O’Brien for the offensive coordinator position this year.

If Barnwell is correct, perhaps this was a planned transitional year while Belichick gave Saban a season with O’Brien before he brought him back to the NFL as a coordinator. O’Brien was also previously the head coach of the Houston Texans for six-plus seasons. He led the Texans to a 50-48 record during his tenure and four playoff appearances.

O’Brien was fired after the Texans got off to an 0-4 start in the 2020 season.

Around Football: Deion Sanders Switching Jobs?

Speaking of college coaches potentially making moves, Pro Football Hall-of-Famer and current Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders is expected to be named the next head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

Sanders has done wonders for legitimizing Jackson State’s program and bringing attention to the Southwestern Athletic Conference on a national level. If Sanders takes the Colorado job, it would appear he is ready to make the jump to take on a Pac-12 team.

Sanders may have his hands full trying to rebuild a scuffling Colorado program. The Buffaloes were a woeful 1-11 during the 2022 season. Sanders is expected to bring some of his top players with him to Colorado along with staff members. Sanders might also be able to draw the attention of top recruits.

It should be an interesting story to watch develop over the next few weeks. Sanders has Jackson State (12-0) prepared to play in the SWAC title game on Saturday against Southern, a team they beat 35-0 earlier this season.

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