After a stint at Alabama serving as offensive coordinator under Nick Saban, Bill O’Brien is heading back to the NFL to the same role with a very familiar franchise: the Patriots.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Low, O’Brien is returning to New England to take the reins of an offense that sputtered in 2022 without a traditional coordinator. While in Tuscaloosa, he had some overlap with the most important player at his new job: quarterback Mac Jones

The news marks O’Brien’s second stint with the franchise. He joined the staff in 2007, working as an analyst, wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach before taking on the offensive coordinator position in ’11. The team went 13–3 that season before falling to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. He parlayed that tenure into the head coaching job at Penn State for two years, before a lengthy tenure leading the Texans from ’14 to ’20.

The Patriots missed the playoffs at 8–9 in 2022, finishing 26th in the NFL with 314.6 offensive yards per game and 17th with 21.8 points per game. New England was second in total offense (428 yards per game) and third in scoring offense (32.1 points per game) in ’11 with O’Brien leading the offense.