It has been the expected move for a while, and now it's happening. The Patriots are hiring Bill O'Brien to be their offensive coordinator, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Low.
O'Brien, who is from Andover, previously spent five seasons on Bill Belichick's staff in New England from 2007-11, serving as offensive coordinator for the 2011 season and offensive play-caller in 2009 and 2010 as well. Since leaving, he spent two years as head coach at Penn State, seven as head coach of the Houston Texans, and the last two as offensive coordinator at Alabama.
O'Brien was one of at least five candidates to interview for the Patriots' offensive coordinator position last week, with the team reportedly talking to Nick Caley, Keenan McCardell, Shawn Jefferson and Adrian Klemm as well.
O'Brien takes over an offense that regressed in Mac Jones' second season, with Belichick's plan to replace Josh McDaniels with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge failing from Day 1. The Patriots ranked 17th in the NFL in points per game and 26th in yards per game.