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Alabama Crimson Tide officially names Bill O’Brien offensive coordinator

Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Head football coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are coming off yet another national title. They have also done the near impossible and upgraded at offensive coordinator with Bill O’Brien.

For the past couple weeks, reports suggested that Alabama would hire the former Houston Texans head coach and general to replace Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinator. That’s now come to fruition.

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“We are pleased and happy to be able to add Bill O’Brien to our coaching staff,” Saban announced on Thursday, via the program’s official website. “He has a wealth of experience as both an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL and college. Bill is one of the brightest offensive minds in football, an outstanding teacher and excellent recruiter. He will strengthen our coaching staff and give our players the best possible chance to be successful.”

Fired by the Texans four games into his seventh season as the team’s head coach, O’Brien comes to Tuscaloosa with a ton of baggage.

To say that the end of his tenure in Houston was contentious would be an understatement. That included multiple rifts with star players as well as some major player personnel fumbles as general manager. However, he seems to be heading into a perfect situation under Nick Saban with Alabama.

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Impact of Alabama hiring Bill O’Brien

Alabama hires Bill O'Brien
Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien watches play on the sidelines during the AFC Divisional Round playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off winning his sixth national title with Alabama, Saban is facing a mass exodus of starters on offense in the 2021 NFL Draft. That includes reigning Heisman finalists, quarterback Mac Jones and running back Najee Harris as well as Heisman winner, DeVonta Smith. Fellow wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is also projected to be a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

To say that Bill O’Brien will have his work cut out for him in 2021 would be an understatement. Even then, top 2020 recruit Bryce Young should excel at quarterback as a first-year starter for the Crimson Tide. That should help Alabama make the transition from Jones.

As for O’Brien, his only previous experience as an offensive coordinator was with the New England Patriots in 2011. He led that unit to a No. 2 overall ranking.