ESPN’s Thamel links Lebby to the OC job in Alabama

With a possible divorce between the Alabama Crimson Tide and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, one of the most coveted jobs in the country could become vacant within days. According to a report from Pro Football Talk, O’Brien has become the prime target for the job of offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.

On “The Paul Finebaum Show,” ESPN’s Pete Thamel mentioned Jeff Lebby as a potential candidate to replace O’Brien.

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“I would think Nick Saban has seen the fits that Tennessee and Josh Heupel have given him this year, and offensively I think they’re probably trending a bit and maybe overcorrecting a bit more in that direction,” shared Thamel with fine tree. Well, I’m not saying they will morph into the Baylor offensive beginning in the mid-2000s. But one name I’ve heard is (Jeff Lebby), Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator. He obviously had success with the SEC West.”

If O’Brien’s time in Alabama is indeed up, Nick Saban will have a number of candidates lined up to replace him. While some Sooners fans were fed up with Jeff Lebby after his first season in Oklahoma, the young offensive spirit would be a massive loss to Brent Venables and the program.

Lebby directed Jackson Arnolds and many other recruitments. If Lebby left, Arnold and others could possibly follow him. Now that would be bad.

Although the job in Alabama would be very attractive to a number of coordinators, there are a number of reasons Lebby is more likely to stay with Norman.

Jeff Lebby is a very well paid man. He is one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in college football and will make $1.9 million in 2023. He has two years left on his contract and Alabama would have to pay a pretty penny to use his services.

Next, the family angle. Lebby is married and has changed jobs and locations four times since 2016. Will he really leave Oklahoma, his dream job, and move back? His connections to the coaching staff and the university would make it unlikely that he would leave the Sooners in a change of sides.

The Sooners will also be moving to the SEC fairly soon, maybe as early as 2024. Lebby will soon be an SEC offensive coordinator. You don’t have to jump to Alabama if being in the SEC is a tie.

Nick Saban could very well come and request Jeff Lebby’s services, but it doesn’t feel like the right time. Dillon Gabriel has returned for another season with Lebby and the Sooners. Jackson Arnold and a number of other early enrollments for 2023 just arrived on campus.

At some point he gets offers for head coaching. Until then, he’s got a great showing in Norman and an offense that’s doing some really good things.

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