Alabama Football: 3 candidates to replace Bill O’Brien

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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What will Alabama football do if Bill O’Brien leaves?

Alabama football failed to win it all last year, but they had one of the most dominant offensive seasons in the program’s history. Bryce Young was the first player to win the Heisman as a quarterback for the Tide. They had two 1000-yard receivers and a 1000-yard back.

Still, O’Brien wasn’t perfect. The playcalling in 2021 was flawed in key scenarios, and the offensive line didn’t progress enough to carry adequately protect Bryce Young. You can’t blame everything on one person, but some of the blame falls on the shoulders of O’Brien.

O’Brien’s stint with Alabama football may be short-lived. The New England Patriots are expected to have an opening at offensive coordinator, and O’Brien is likely the top candidate for the job. He has ties to the organization, and his mindset is a better fit for the NFL.

It isn’t a guarantee that he will leave, but Alabama has stayed relevant by being proactive. Nick Saban likely has a shortlist of candidates who could replace O’Brien if he leaves. Here are three potential candidates for the Crimson Tide.

3. Joe Brady, former Panthers offensive coordinator

Joe Brady is known for his time with the LSU Tigers, but he recently lost his job as the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. He brought creativity to the offense in both places, but a lack of talent and the addition of pressure made it hard for him to find his way in Charlotte.

Brady is likely the best candidate, but there are a few reasons why he’s a longshot. Brady prefers the NFL game, so it’s unlikely that he is specifically looking for college jobs. He might prefer to become a quarterbacks coach and work his way back up the ranks in the NFL.

However, he likely won’t be an offensive coordinator for any NFL team next year. He could take the Alabama job and likely get an OC job in the next cycle. If both parties are okay with that, then this fit would make plenty of sense.