Amid rumors the New England Patriots are pursuing Bill O'Brien as their next offensive coordinator, the former Houston Texans head coach has strong support from at least one prominent member of the organization.
Per NFL Network's Mike Giardi, there is "one very influential voice in upper management" for the Patriots pushing O'Brien for the job.
O'Brien has been connected to the Patriots since before the regular season ended. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported last month the 53-year-old was considered a "strong option" for Bill Belichick's staff in 2023.
The Patriots didn't have an official offensive coordinator on the coaching staff this season. Matt Patricia served as the offensive play-caller, but his official job title was senior football advisor and offensive line coach.
Joe Judge, who was hired as quarterbacks coach and an offensive assistant, also had a big hand in building New England's offense.
Things didn't work with Patricia and Judge at the helm. The Patriots ranked 17th in points scored and 26th in total offense. Mac Jones regressed significantly in his second season. He threw for 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 14 starts.
There were also moments late in the season when Jones was seen on the sidelines appearing to be yelling in frustration about the offense.
Jones downplayed the issues when asked about it after New England's 27-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14.
"I think the biggest thing for me is not letting it affect my play and bringing the best out of my guys. Today, I thought we all did a good job with trying to play the next play, play the next series. Matty P did a great job."
O'Brien hasn't coached in the NFL since being fired by the Houston Texans after an 0-4 start to the 2020 season. He's been Nick Saban's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Alabama for the past two seasons.
Prior to becoming a head coach, O'Brien spent five seasons working with the Patriots from 2007-11. He worked in a variety of jobs, including as an offensive assistant, wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach.
The 2011 Patriots, with O'Brien as offensive coordinator, ranked third in the NFL in points scored and reached the Super Bowl.