But neither has happened.
Instead, the Patriots have a 7-8 record and are currently out of the playoff picture, as they’re one game behind the Miami Dolphins for the final wild card postseason spot in the conference.
With contests against the Dolphins and Buffalo Bills upcoming, things are looking somewhat bleak for Bill Belichick’s crew.
There have been growing rumors that Bill O’Brien, a former member of Belichick’s staff, may want to return to New England, and according to Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston, it is looking more and more like a reunion may be inevitable.
— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) December 27, 2022
O’Brien Would Represent A Link To The Patriots’ Glory Days
The Patriots have what could be a long rebuilding process ahead of it, and any help they could get would be welcome for them.
O’Brien started his coaching career on the staffs of Brown University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland and Duke University, and he joined New England for the 2007 season as an offensive assistant.
That year, the team added Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss and went 16-0 during the regular season, as they became one of the most prolific offensive squads in NFL history.
Unfortunately for them, the Patriots were upset in the Super Bowl that season by Eli Manning and the New York Giants.
O’Brien became a wide receivers coach in 2008 and then a quarterbacks coach and offensive play-caller the following two seasons.
He was promoted to the role of offensive coordinator in 2011, a season that saw the Patriots again put up big numbers offensively but lose in the Super Bowl to New York.
O’Brien left the Patriots shortly afterward to be the head coach of the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions before spending seven seasons at the helm of the Houston Texans.