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Bill O’Brien says he turned down chance to stay with Patriots

Bill O'Brien points at practice

Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien directs the office on a drill during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Bill O’Brien left the New England Patriots after one year as offensive coordinator, but according to him, the choice was largely his own.

After being introduced as Boston College’s new head coach on Thursday, O’Brien told WEEI that he had the opportunity to remain with the Patriots, but wanted to let new head coach Jerod Mayo put his own staff in place.

“I definitely had an opportunity to stay,” O’Brien told WEEI’s Mike Kadlick. “I thought it was really important for Coach Mayo to hire his own staff. I came and worked for Bill Belichick, and I think it’s really important for Jerod to be able to hire his own staff. The Krafts were great about that, and I really appreciate that. And Ryan Day was awesome about offering me a job, so that’s why I made that decision.”

O’Brien initially left to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, but then accepted the head coach job at Boston College when it became available. The Patriots wound up hiring former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt as O’Brien’s replacement.

O’Brien may be trying to save face to some degree, but it is also possible that he was looking for a fresh start and took the opportunity to get one. That seems to have worked out for both him and the Patriots.

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