NCAA Football, New England Patriots

Bill O’Brien could leave Alabama for a return to Patriots if Josh McDaniels takes Raiders job

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is a candidate to replace Josh McDaniels on the New England Patriots staff if he were hired to be the next head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

There is a potential succession plan in place in Foxborough, as Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien could replace New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels if he were to get the Las Vegas Raiders head-coaching gig.

While news of the Raiders being very intrigued by McDaniels speaks volumes, New England bringing back O’Brien would be a fantastic move for the Patriots organization. O’Brien worked for Bill Belichick in New England from 2007 to 2011 in several roles, including offensive coordinator, before taking over an incredibly challenging situation with the 2012 Penn State Nittany Lions.

Not only does O’Brien have great familiarity with Belichick, but he runs a similar offense at Alabama that could bring out the very best in second-year pro Mac Jones.

Alabama could lose Bill O’Brien to Patriots if Josh McDaniels goes to Raiders

Even though O’Brien’s reputation took a hit with the Houston Texans, that had more to do with him serving as a de facto general manager than anything. He won the AFC South four times in five years with inconsistent quarterback play. O’Brien has shown at multiple stops he can elevate the play of whatever signal-caller he has running the offense. This move would work well for them.

Though O’Brien may want to stay put in Tuscaloosa and get to coach Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young for another season, the NFL beckons. Not only could he replace McDaniels in Foxborough, kind of like he did the first time around, but other Belichick disciples such as Brian Daboll, and especially Brian Flores, could need an offensive coordinator if they do get main jobs.

Ultimately, O’Brien is swimming with leverage. He was interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars vacancy that seems to be coming down to either Byron Leftwich, or possibly Vic Fangio. Alabama is the favorite to win the College Football Playoff next year. New England should be a playoff team next season with a more refined Jones under center. O’Brien holds all the cards in this offseason.

If McDaniels does bolt to Sin City, Belichick bringing back O’Brien makes all the sense in the world.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

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