Based on O'Brien's scores through 8 events in the 2002 US Championships, it's likely that he could have scored in the 8200-8300 range. A great score, but well below his prior marks. At that point, I was thinking that he was as much of a contender for Athens as anybody. However, this year Clay scored over 8400 and Terek broke 8200 at US, and would've done so again at Worlds without a hurdles DQ. And O'Brien isn't getting any younger.
I have no clue as to his plans. I don't imagine that a former WR holder and Olympic gold medalist will make an attempt unless he has excellent odds. And, there is no chance that he can challenge Pappas right now.