NFL

Bucs Offensive Coordinator candidate hired by patriots

When the Bucs fired offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich last week after four seasons, former Texans head coach and current Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien mentioned by Pewter Report and others as a possible substitute.

You can now take O’Brien’s name off the board as he rejoins the Patriots as their offensive coordinator. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this on Tuesday. He previously spent time in New England from 2007-2011 before a stint as head coach of Penn State and a six-year stint as headman of the Texans from 2014-2020.

O’Brien spent the last two seasons in Alabama working under Nick Saban. Now he heads back to the Northeast to once again serve as Bill Belichick’s offensive coordinator after a tumultuous season for the Patriots offense. He will team up with quarterback Mac Jones, whom he previously coached with the Crimson Tide.

Part of the appeal that would have come had O’Brien joined the Bucs was his history of working with Tom Brady, who is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Bucs aren’t necessarily going after a coordinator for the sole purpose of luring Brady back for another year, but hiring someone who’s worked with the legendary quarterback before seemed like a smart move nonetheless.

Of course, now that O’Brien has returned to the Patriots, speculation will continue that Brady will return with him after three seasons with the Bucs. Although on the latest edition of his “Let’s go!” podcast, de quarterback made it pretty clear that he does not yet know his plans for 2023.

Bucs must act quickly in the search for coordinators

Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Todd Bowles – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Of course, the Bucs don’t want to rush into hiring a new offensive coordinator. Head coach Todd Bowles needs to get this appointment right if he wants himself – and the team – to succeed after watching offensive production sputter at just 18.4 points per game in 2022.

But that said, there has to be a sense of urgency to the process due to the number of coordinator openings in the league. Although O’Brien returns to the Patriots to take away one opening, six other teams still need an offensive coordinator. That’s not including the various teams that have to hire one after finding their new head coach.

One of those teams is reportedly interested in Leftwichwho the Bucs said goodbye last week. But there are some attractive openings that top coordinators will no doubt be interested in, so Bowles and the Bucs blazers need to act with some urgency to get someone in place before the off-season gets into full swing.

Like Scott Reynolds from Pewter Report wrote in this week’s Bucs Monday Mailbag, the team should likely begin interviews for the open coordinator position this week, though the hiring process could carry over to next week when the league convenes in Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl.

Former Bucs and Browns offensive coordinator – and current Georgia caller – Todd Monken is a name that is in the mixthough Pewter Report reported Monday that Monken had not heard from the team as of Saturday.

As always, stay tuned to Pewter Report as we’ll keep you posted on anything and everything related to the search for the Bucs’ offensive coordinator.


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