Bill O'Brien AP

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien speaks during the Crimson Tide's NCAA college football media day, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Former Penn State coach Bill O'Brien could be headed back to the NFL.

O'Brien is reportedly the New England Patriots' top target to fill the vacant offensive coordinator job, according to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston.

The now-Alabama offensive coordinator was the Nittany Lions' first head coach hire after Joe Paterno was fired in 2011. O'Brien, at the time, was hired from Bill Belichick's staff where he was the Patriots' offensive coordinator for a year.

He was only at Penn State from 2012-13 because he quickly earned NFL interest. O'Brien was the head man for the Houston Texans from 2014-20 and was the general manager in 2020 but was fired after the unit started 0-4.

O'Brien was then hired as Alabama's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach shortly after.

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