The rumor some Alabama football fans have been trying to reach the Jacksonville Jaguars GM, to urge the return of Bill O’Brien to the NFL, is probably not true. But it is also probably not far from the truth.
NFL experts and pundits were quoted on Tuesday saying O’Brien will not be the Jaguars’ next head coach. Among some in the Crimson Tide fan base, O’Brien is only slightly more popular than recently fired Miami Dolphins’ head coach, Brian Flores. Recently it was claimed Flores had been openly dismissive of Tua Tagovailoa in front of Dolphins staff and players. One rumor was Flores had questioned Tua’s work ethic.
It was a good thing for Flores he was out of Miami before Tua’s father, Galu saw that report. The point is O’Brien being more popular in Tuscaloosa than Flores, is no endorsement.
Why are some many Crimson Tide fans down on O’Brien? The answer is simple. The 2021 Alabama Crimson Tide failed to win a National Championship. That is unpardonable for Tide OCs. Alabama fans are hard on offensive coordinators. Many fans were happy when Brian Daboll returned to the NFL after one season on Nick Saban’s staff. And the Crimson Tide won the National Championship that season.
In the coming days or weeks, there is a strong chance Daboll will be an NFL head coach. Daboll was learning in Tuscaloosa, and it can be said he stuck with Jalen Hurts too long, but the ability and potential Nick Saban saw in Daboll have proved to be real.
What does Nick Saban want for Alabama Football Offense?
We are not inside Nick Saban’s head to know what he thinks about Bill O’Brien. We do know Tide fans have been displeased throughout the season, going back to the Florida game. O’Brien’s Crimson Tide resume is at worst – solid – as in, behind a suspect offensive line, the Crimson Tide produced over 5,000 passing yards, almost 2,500 rushing yards, while an inexperienced sophomore quarterback won a Heisman Trophy. But as Billy Beane of Moneyball fame knew, none of that matters when you lose the last game.
O’Brien is perhaps better suited to the NFL. He is not an offensive trend-setter. What he brings to the Crimson Tide may be solid, but there is no sizzle.
The reality is it does not matter what Crimson Tide fans think. O’Brien ran Nick Saban’s offense. Saban always wants balance spiced by explosive plays. Under O’Brien, the Crimson Tide threw 571 passes. The Tide ran the ball, by design, almost 500 times. That is Nick Saban-style balance. Yes, it was not quite good enough in the end. Some of the reasons for that late failure came from injuries and dropped passes.
What matters now, is what does Nick Saban wants. A guess is Saban is fine with O’Brien leaving or staying. Bryce has one more Crimson Tide run. Maybe it would be best done with an OC he respects and trusts. A few Alabama football insiders believe that is the case.
Stats in this post from rolltide.com
Don’t be surprised when the Crimson Tide’s next Offensive Coordinator is not new at all.