If you can’t beat him, hire him.
It was the move head coach Nick Saban and Alabama football made in bringing on former Ole Miss offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dan Werner as an offensive analyst to begin the offseason.
After serving on coach Hugh Freeze’s staff for five years (2012-15), the 58-year-old intends on helping the Crimson Tide improve its passing game. In taking the podium following Tuesday’s practice, Saban addressed the media on how much he respects the knowledge Werner brings.
“Do we really need to tell our fans or staff members here about the issues we’ve had in stopping their (Ole Miss) offense in the last few seasons,” Saban said. “I think it will help us on offense and defense to have a guy around here that can add some knowledge and experience to the way they run run-pass-offense (RPOs) and things in the passing game.”
Just for those who are still on an emotional high from last season’s win over the Rebels, it was achieved as a result of the Tide being defeated by the program in 2014 and 2015. In his second of two stints at Oxford, Miss., Werner coached Ole Miss to 30 points a game in 2012 and 2013.
During its 23-17 win over Alabama, he assisted quarterback Bo Wallace to completing 18 of 31 attempts – 58.1 percent – for 251 yards and three touchdowns. A year later, a clutch performance from Chad Kelly propelled Mississippi over the Tide. He totaled 341 passing yards and three scores on 18 of 33 completions in a 43-37 effort. Even in a 48-43 loss in 2016, Werner still aided Kelly to 421 yards and three touchdowns.
The biggest statistic overall is Ole Miss had zero interceptions in all three games.
Along with being a quarterback whisperer, Werner also tutored some good running backs. Jeff Scott, I’Tavius Mathers, Jaylen Walton and Akeem Judd all were 500-plus yard rushers for the Rebels in the careers under Werner. As for the wide receiver/tight end position, the offensive technician coached Donte Moncrief, Laquon Treadwell, Evan Engram, Cody Core, Quincy Adeboyejo and Damore’ea Stringfellow into being superstars.
He was able to help Ole Miss obtain its first 10-win season in 2015 for the first time since 2003, and now Werner will look to help the Tide’s offense be all the more dangerous in the fall.