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New England Patriots to hire Bill O'Brien from Alabama as offensive coordinator

Bill O'Brien, who spent seven seasons as coach of the Houston Texans, will return next season as offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI
Bill O'Brien, who spent seven seasons as coach of the Houston Texans, will return next season as offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The New England Patriots will hire Bill O'Brien as their offensive coordinator after struggling offensively over the past several seasons.

Sources told NFL Network, ESPN and the Boston Globe about the hire Tuesday morning.

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O'Brien spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama. He spent the 2007 through 2011 seasons with the Patriots as an offensive coordinator, assistant, wide receivers and quarterbacks coach.

O'Brien was the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2014 through 2020. He also was head coach at Penn State for two seasons and held various position coach roles at Duke, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Brown.

The Patriots had the No. 2 offense in the NFL in 2011, when O'Brien was offensive coordinator and Tom Brady was quarterback. They ranked 26th in yards this season. The Patriots haven't ranked inside the Top 15 in yards since 2018. They ranked inside the Top 10 in yards in 11 of 12 seasons from 2007 through 2018.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not name an offensive coordinator last season, but leaned on senior football advisor/offensive line coach Matt Patricia and offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach Joe Judge to call plays and create offensive game plans. Neither Judge nor Patricia had previous experience as an offensive coach.

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