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Former Penn State HC Bill O’Brien Among Top 5 Favorites to Succeed Bill Belichick, per Sportsbook

Former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien is among the top five favorites to replace Bill Belichick as the New England Patriots head coach, per

O’Brien, who just wrapped up the first season of his second stint as New England’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, has the fourth highest odds at 14/1.

Ahead of him are Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson (4/1), former Patriots LB and recently-fired Titans coach Mike Vrabel (5/2, +250) and former Patriots linebacker Jarrod Mayo, who is currently the book’s odds on favorite at 2/7 and -350. It doesn’t seem to make much sense for New England to promote O’Brien. The team went 4-13 this past season and O’Brien’s offense finished last in the AFC and tied for last in the NFL in scoring at 13.9 points per game. Only the 2-15 Panthers failed to score more.

Additionally, New England QB Mack Jones, who the team took with the 15th pick of the 2021 Draft, didn’t progress under O’Brien and was benched four times.

But O’Brien does have a successful NFL head coaching track record.

After leaving Penn State on following the 2013 season, O’Brien spent more than six seasons with the Texans and led the team to four AFC South titles. Houston fired O’Brien after an 0-4 start to the 2020 season, and he returned to the college ranks from there. O’Brien spent two seasons working with Nick Saban as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, helping QB Bryce Young to the Heisman Trophy in 2021 and the team to an SEC Championship and national title game appearance in the same season.

Saban announced his retirement the evening before word got out of Belichick and the Patriots parting ways.

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