Bill O’Brien has officially left Alabama Football after being hired by the Patriots. Well, who can get the Crimson Tide to replace him?
Finally it happened. Whether Alabama football fans thought it was pipe dream or too outlandish to be reality, the Crimson Tide are now free of overly frustrating offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien after he accepted the same role with the New England Patriots for a return to the NFL would have.
Nick Saban and Alabama are now searching for a new offensive coordinator, though you have to believe that the rumblings since mid-December that O’Brien could leave for New England have already had the Crimson Tide staff circle names or possibly already contacted to have.
We’ve talked about potential Bill O’Brien replacements before. However, among the candidates mentioned in this discussion were Garrett Riley, now hired by Clemson, and Kliff Kingsbury, who was reportedly not interested in returning to college football. So it’s time to open the floor again.
Narrowing it down to three names, these three should be high on Nick Saban’s list to become the new Alabama football offensive coordinator now that Bill O’Brien has officially left.
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Alabama Football: 3 Bill O’Brien replacements after Patriots hired OC for same role
Jeff Lebby represents the changes Nick Saban might want on Alabama’s offense
Nick Saban famously delved into spread offensive concepts more than a decade ago, essentially asking if we want college football to be like this. However, the subtext of that was that he said, “Do you really want me to start with Alabama’s talent?” And the response was that the rest of the country didn’t because the shift helped shape the Crimson Tide dynasty .
But now the offense has shifted a bit further as we’ve seen coaches mutate and adapt the old Baylor-style offense, something Josh Heupel used in Tennessee this season to revitalize the Vols but also, which is even more urgent to beat Bama. So why shouldn’t Saban use the logic he used before to beat other programs at their own game?
That would bring Jeff Lebby to the table. Another student of the Briles/Leach coaching tree, he spent his freshman year with the Sooners last season in Oklahoma, and while it was a disappointing showing at Norman, the offense was still fast, effective and mostly productive. He did the same things with Ole Miss under Lane Kiffin.
It might take Alabama to cut a hefty check to lure Lebby away from the Sooners after he just arrived, but a move to Tuscaloosa would undoubtedly be an upgrade. And the idea of Lebby working alongside the talent that Saban has amassed through this program is incredibly compelling for fans to ponder.
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