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#pounditWednesday, September 28, 2022

Report explains why Bill Belichick did not pursue Bill O’Brien

Bill Belichick on the sideline

The New England Patriots had a vacancy at offensive coordinator after Josh McDaniels left to take the Las Vegas Raiders head coach job this offseason. Some thought it would make sense for the Pats to try bringing back their former offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. But that did not materialize.

So, why didn’t Bill Belichick try to re-hire O’Brien? We seem to have our answer.

Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal, which is an excellent subscription-based website covering Boston sports teams, wrote about the matter recently.

Bedard said that Belichick did not pursue O’Brien because of the Patriots coach’s relationship with Nick Saban.

O’Brien, 52, coached with the Patriots from 2007-2011. He left to become Penn State’s head coach and then coached the Texans from 2014-2020. After being fired by the Texans, O’Brien caught on as Saban’s offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Bedard says O’Brien made a two-year commitment to Saban. Belichick did not even want to make the call and create any sort of tension between him and Saban over O’Brien. Saban famously worked as Belichick’s defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1994. That was after Saban’s time as the head coach at Toledo and before Saban went to Michigan State, which was one of his early stops on the way to becoming the best college football coach ever.

Since he doesn’t have O’Brien, Belchick asked some of his former coaches to try out new roles. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge will be working with the Patriots’ offense for the upcoming season.

This will be an experiment for the Patriots, who are trusting Belichick’s new plan will work.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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