The Alabama Crimson Tide are preparing for their battle against the Kansas State Wildcats in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year's Eve. Nick Saban has obviously built a behemoth of a program, helping anchor the defense. But the addition of Bill O'Brien has helped Alabama's offense reach new heights.
Recently, there were rumors that linked O'Brien to the offensive coordinator position with the New England Patriots. On Wednesday's press conference, O'Brien fielded questions for about 15 minutes. He was asked about these potential rumors, shooting them down.
O'Brien said that he had not visited the Patriots facility since April. “I wish them well in their last, however many games they have left,” O’Brien said. “But we’re very focused on this game and coaching this team to the best of our ability.”
The Alabama OC previously worked as an offensive coach for Bill Belichick and the Patriots from 2007 to 2011. He then parlayed that into a head coaching position with the Houston Texans, which he held from 2014 through 2020. O'Brien is now in his second and final year of his contract with Alabama.
The Patriots have come under fire this season for the lack of an offensive identity. They hired back Matt Patricia from the Detroit Lions, who previously worked as the defensive coordinator for New England. He has only ever worked on defense. They also brought back former assistant Joe Judge to help with the offense. He has only ever worked on special teams and defense prior to his short stint as New York Giants head coach.
So, a familiar face in a familiar role like Bill O'Brien would make a lot of sense in New England.