Alabama seems to be narrowing down in the next offensive line coordinator. After reportedly making multiple trips to Tuscaloosa this month, former Houston and Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien is likely to take over the Crimson Tide offense next season.
While O’Brien’s hiring has not been announced, Alabama head coach Nick Saban hinted at the move during a Zoom call on the Paul Bryant Award on Wednesday.
“I think he will do a great job with our players here,” Saban said during the call. “I have always tried to have the best knowledge and experience possible for our players and their development and I think he can contribute to that in a good way.”;
O’Brien was sacked by Texas in October after leading the squad from 0-4 before he was sacked.He spent six full seasons as the head coach of the organization, winning four AFC South titles before that Obi. Ryan spent two seasons as head coach at Penn State. He won the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award and the Maxwell Coach of the Year Award in 2012 after he collected the Nittany Lions to reach season 8-4 despite a 0-2 start and the NCAA boycott. O’Brien also spent five seasons with the New England Patriots from 2007-11, where he worked under Saban’s sidekick Bill Belichick.
O’Brien served as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2011.He was also a quarterback coach in 2009 and 2010.After running back coaching in 2008, the 51-year-old also has experience as a coordinator. A college-level offensive job that has led Georgia Tech’s offense since 2001.02 and Duke offenses from 2005-06.
“I’ve known Bill O’Brien for a long time, during his time as Georgia Tech’s assistant to George O’Leary,” Saban said during the call. Which I think everyone knows of the relationship we have with Bill. He’s the nasty coordinator there. Going to Penn State during the most trying times of any great show comes out of a lot of crazy stuff and he does a great job of rebuilding that program, keeping the players at. That, with a really positive program.
“And I think he did really well in Houston when he was the head coach. I think when he became a general manager, maybe things didn’t go the way he liked, trying to have both roles. But being the head coach in that league, I know how difficult it is to do both – probably impossible. From the performance until then, I think he’s an outstanding coach and a really good person.
If hired, O’Brien will replace Broyles Award winner Steve Sarkisian, who took over as head coach in Texas earlier this month. O’Brien will take over the top-five Alabama teams in scoring (48.5 per game), total offensive (541.6 yds per game) and false passes (358.2 ypg). Probably missing several key elements of that group, including Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, Davey O’Brien Award winner Mac Jones and Doak Walker award winner Najee Harris, as well as most of the offensive line-up to Joe Moore.
During the final full season of O’Brien’s overseeing Houston last year, the Texans were 13th in the NFL in total attacking, averaging 362 yards per game ahead of the 2020 season. Offensive coordinator after taking over as general manager in addition to his boss coaching job.
Over the past four seasons, O’Brien has coached double threat defender Deshaun Watson. In Alabama, the newly named coordinator takes care of another mobile commuter, while former five-star recruit Bryce is also slated to take over the reins behind the center. O’Brien helped Watson develop into one of the league’s top players, while the former Clemson star led the NFL with 4,823 yards en route to his third Pro Bowl this season. Alabama hopes he will have the same impact on Young as Tide appears to be reloading his attacking game for this season’s competition.