Bill O’Brien interviews with Patriots

Former Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien could soon be back in the NFL, and he could be taking on the role he held prior to being hired by Penn State.

O’Brien, currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama, had his interview with the New England Patriots to talk about the vacancy at offensive coordinator. O’Brien has long been the easy subject of various coaching rumors in recent years since his return to the college game at Alabama, but this could be the gig that lures him back to the NFL if all goes well.

O’Brien is still considered by NFL reporters to be the favorite to land the offensive coordinator job with the Patriots, as we previously mentioned and currently reiterated by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, via Twitter.

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O’Brien was not the last person scheduled to interview for the job with New England, however. As noted by Rapoport, it is believed the Patriots will be done with interviews soon.

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O’Brien was hired by Penn State to be the head coach of the football program as the successor to Joe Paterno (following interim head coach Tom Bradley) in 2012. He had previously spent the 2011 season as the offensive coordinator for the Patriots, a role he held for one season after serving as the team’s quarterback coach from 2009 through 2010 and two other roles on the staff the previous two seasons. Penn State was O’Brien’s first head coaching job in his career.

In two seasons as Penn State’s head coach, O’Brien accumulated back-to-back winning seasons despite the program being hammered by NCAA sanctions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. O’Brien went 15-9 as Penn State’s head coach. Following the 2013 season, O’Brien accepted a job offer to become the head coach of the Houston Texans. O’Brien spent six seasons as the coach of the Texans, where he was 52-48 overall but just 2-4 in the postseason. He was fired following an 0-4 start to the 2020 season.

In 2021, O’Brien joined the Alabama coaching staff under head coach Nick Saban, filling the role of offensive coordinator after Steve Sarkisian left the role to become the head coach at Texas.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire