Bill O’Brien is likely returning to the college ranks with Alabama.
While Nick Saban deserves the lion’s share of the credit for creating an Alabama offense that was dominant enough to get them in the national championship, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian helped turn Saban’s offense from a run-first attack into an aerial circus. With Sarkisian leaving to become the head coach at Texas, Saban has reportedly zeroed in on former Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien as his replacement.
Per Bruce Feldman, O’Brien is expected to return to college by agreeing to a contract that would have him follow Sarkisian as the Crimson Tide OC. Despite what Texans fans will tell you, this is a solid move by Saban.
As I reported last week Bill O'Brien, the former #Texans and Penn State head coach visited Tuscaloosa about replacing Steve Sarkisian as Alabama’s OC.. I’m hearing that deal is expected to happen in the next few days.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 12, 2021
Bill O’Brien can get back to his play-calling roots with Alabama
The NFL might not be the best place for O’Brien, but his success as an offensive coordinator in the pros and as a head coach at Penn State following Joe Paterno’s dismissal shows that when he doesn’t have such crushing expectations, he can be a solid play designer and offensive mind.
Considering that Saban could’ve hired someone like Adam Gase or promote one of the innumerable assistant coaches on this roster, getting an offensive mind with proven success at the pro and collegiate level to replace Sarkisian is a huge victory for Nick and the Tide. What better place to rehab your stock as a coach than Tuscaloosa, where O’Brien will get his hands on dozens of elite recruits.