Christopher Walsh’s All Things CW notes column is published in five parts each week, with the latest on the Alabama Crimson Tide. That is …
Although Bill O’Brien’s return to the New England Patriots wasn’t officially announced until Tuesday, Nick Saban has had plenty of time to think about who his next offensive coordinator might be.
O’Brien was on a two-year contract with the Alabama Crimson Tide, matching the final years of Bryce Young’s time at Tuscaloosa. This short period of time that needs to be worked out beforehand is typical of coaching contracts where everyone knows beforehand that the person will not be staying longer.
In other words, O’Brien basically told Saban from the start, “I’ll give you two seasons.”
Saban also tipped the hand a bit late last season when he said the Crimson Tide will become more of a run pass option offense next season after being more of a pro set for Young.
Consequently, there are two names to particularly watch that may not be finalized until after National Signing Day as Saban focuses on recruiting.
Alabama fans will recognize Brady from his days as LSU’s passing game coordinator and receivers coach in 2019, when the Tigers led the table. He was hired as the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator under former head coach Matt Rhule, but he couldn’t emulate the same magic.
Brady was the Bills’ quarterback coach last season.
Saban typically wants his coordinators to have NFL experience, and the job could appeal to Brady as it gives him more play-calling experience. However, there are reports that some NFL teams, including the New York Jets, are also interested in him. Would he prefer the college game or the NFL? Another plus is that he is only 33 years old.
Oklahoma fans were disappointed with the first year of the Brent Venables era, which ended with a 6-7 record, and blamed some of the blame on the offensive coordinator, even though the Sooners averaged 474 yards per game (No. 13 in the Nation). , 219.4 rushing yards (No. 10), 254.6 passing (No. 42), and 32.8 points (tie for No. 32).
It just wasn’t what you’re used to seeing (sound familiar?).
Lebby has trained under both Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss (2020-21) and Josh Heupel at UCF (2018-19) after developing in Baylor’s system of (2008-16). The 39-year-old is Art Briles’ son-in-law.
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He has a good reputation in recruiting. However, one possible downside is his contract, Lebby still has two years left on his deal, which will net him $1.9 million in 2023.
Other names to look at
Derek Dooley: He is the internal nominee, having served as an analyst last season, and has extensive experience with Saban, having served on his coaching staff at LSU (2000-04) and the Miami Dolphins (2005). Saban also has a history of hiring former Tennessee coaches. Since his time with the Volunteers (2010-12), he has been the wide receivers coach for the Dallas Cowboys (2013-17), offensive coordinator for Missouri (2018-19), and for the New York Giants as a senior assistant and tight ends coach.
Scott Frost: It wasn’t long ago that the former Nebraska and UCF (remember the self-proclaimed national championship?) coach was one of the hottest coaching candidates in college football, and on paper he seems like a good candidate for the Saban too his coaching rehabilitation program. His name was floating around in Tuscaloosa a few months ago, but Frost and his wife recently bought a $5.4 million home in Phoenix.
Jason Garrett: He was Saban’s quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006, and being the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for eight seasons looks pretty good on his resume. But he never coached at the college level.
Adam Gases: His name came up when Alabama hired O’Brien, but he hasn’t been in football since the 2020 season, when he was fired as head coach of the New York Jets after Sept. 23. He is included here because after graduating from Michigan State, Gase followed Saban to LSU as an assistant, but has worked exclusively in the NFL since 2002.
Cliff Kingsbury: His name began He was bouncing around Tuscaloosa even before he was fired as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, where he had been since Texas Tech (2013-18). He also worked in the SEC before joining Texas A&M, where he was position coach for Johnny Manziel when he won the 2012 Heisman Trophy. After his release, the 41-year-old reportedly bought a one-way ticket to Thailand.
Gregory Roman: As we include NFL coaches who are not currently working, Roman is mentioned after recently resigning as offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, where he worked with Lamar Jackson. He has a lot of experience with the Harbaugh brothers. He was Jim Harbaugh’s tight ends and offensive tackles coach at Stanford in 2009-10, then followed him to the San Francisco 49ers. After two seasons as offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, he was signed by John Harbaugh in 2017.
Charlie Weis Jr.: It might be a bit early for him as Weiss was named Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach this time last year after two seasons as offensive coordinator in South Florida. He was offensive analyst for Alabama in 2015-16, spent a season with Steve Sarkisian and the Atlanta Falcons, and was Lane Kiffin’s offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic in the 20-18-19 season.
The hotboard will be updated as needed
First hot board for Alabama defensive coordinator
Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was hired by the New England Patriots
Tale of the Tape, #1 Purdue vs. #2 Alabama