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Bill O’Brien responds to rumors of return to Patriots

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has been linked to a return to the New England Patriots, but he is trying not to lean into the speculation ahead of the Crimson Tide’s Sugar Bowl appearance against Kansas State. O’Brien made clear he has not had talks with anyone associated with the Patriots since April, when he…

The post Bill O’Brien responds to rumors of return to Patriots appeared first on Larry Brown Sports.

Bill O'Brien on the sideline at Alabama

Alabama Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien during warm ups before the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. Credit: Gary Cosby Jr./USA TODAY NETWORK

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has been linked to a return to the New England Patriots, but he is trying not to lean into the speculation ahead of the Crimson Tide’s Sugar Bowl appearance against Kansas State.

O’Brien made clear he has not had talks with anyone associated with the Patriots since April, when he paid a visit to the team’s facilities. The Alabama offensive coordinator said his only contact with NFL teams had been on a friendly basis, and ducked questions about potentially leaving the Tide.

“I have a lot of friends in the NFL, so the answer would be yes to that. I have a lot of coaching friends in the NFL, so yeah, they’re some of my closest friends. But relative to working in the NFL, no,” O’Brien said, via Mike Rodak of AL.com. “Relative to working here, like I said, I love it here, I love my experience here. I’m very focused on this game coming up, and then whatever conversations happen after this game, those will take place when they take place.”

O’Brien’s Alabama contract expires after the season, which gives him a clear path to return to the NFL if he wants without necessarily backing away from any commitments at the college level. He has been named as a strong option to return to New England after the season, as he was an assistant there from 2007-2011. The expectation is that the Patriots will look to add to their offensive staff in light of the team’s struggles there this season.

O’Brien’s comments certainly do not mean he is not interested. He can plausibly say he has had no contact, as the Patriots’ season is not over, nor is Alabama’s. No decisions are likely to be made until January at the earliest. O’Brien certainly did not deny that he might return to the NFL, be it now or later, so the door is not shut on this story.

The post Bill O’Brien responds to rumors of return to Patriots appeared first on Larry Brown Sports.

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