Patriots News: Bill Belichick, LeGarrette Blount, Colts rivalry and Bill O'Brien

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Latest gossip suggests Bill O'Brien won't remain in New England in 2024

Bill O'Brien's return to New England as the Patriots' offensive coordinator had been rumored for the past two years. Before Matt Patricia was given the clipboard to replace Josh McDaniels, O'Brien had been the favorite to reclaim his old position in Foxboro. But because he was still under contract for one more season at Alabama, the Patriots couldn't hire him until this offseason.

Because he has been out of the NFL since he was fired from his head coaching position with the Texans, rumors have suggested that O'Brien would use his return to the Patriots as a stepping stone to get back into the league as a head coach.

That is gaining steam again, as the Patriots sit with a 2-7 record ahead of their Week 10 matchup with the Colts, with Ben Volin revealing he hasn't spoken to anyone who feels O'Brien will remain with the team long-term.

"No one I’ve spoken to believes that O’Brien came to New England with long-term plans of being the offensive coordinator, because he wants to use the job as a springboard to a head coaching opportunity.

He could have been a candidate to succeed Belichick, but Jones’ struggles and the Patriots’ 31st-ranked scoring offense probably have squashed that. Now there are rumors that O’Brien, a former Penn State coach, could be headed back to college, with Michigan State looking for a new coach (and maybe Michigan, too)."

It doesn't seem much of a stretch to believe that a former NFL head coach would have aspirations to return to that role if given the opportunity. But it also doesn't look like O'Brien has proven he can be a viable head coach based on how the Patriots offense has performed this year, although it's not a responsibility entirely on his shoulders.

If he does choose to move on, though, it makes McDaniels' availability even more interesting. Unless Robert Kraft wants to overhaul the entire coaching staff and team from top to bottom, assuming McDaniels will return is certainly valid and seems even more plausible if O'Brien chooses to leave after just one season back in New England.


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