Thanks to the CDC’s announcement of the new recommended isolation period shrinking from 10 days to five days, Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was able to rejoin the team a few days earlier than originally expected as he arrived early Tuesday morning.
O’Brien had tested positive for COVID-19 last week along with offensive line coach Doug Marrone and did not initially travel with the team to Arlington, TX, but after his arrival today he had a chance to speak with the media about his past few days.
“Glad to see the SEC kind of adjust those rules a bit so I was able to get out here today and be able to be here in person,” O’Brien said to the media on Zoom. “I feel good, I’m ready to go and I think the big story is obviously the two teams and the game on Friday.”
While he stayed at home and performed his daily tasks virtually, staffers Alex Mortensen and Holmon Wiggins helped fill in for O’Brien in person while special assistant Joe Pendry stepped in for Marrone’s duties.
Although it was unexpected, O’Brien said that the transition to virtual wasn’t difficult or odd for him because of his experience with the technology from a season ago when he was the head coach of the Houston Texans.
“It wasn’t weird, only because I’ve had that experience in the National Football League last year,” O’Brien said. “Everything was Zoom relative to this has been going on for a couple years now in our country, so I had experience with the Zoom. Really, I think the biggest thing is that coach Saban made everything normal. It was like I was actually there. I was in every meeting. Also, to our video department, Daniel Lyerly and Kaleb Medema, they did an unbelievable job setting me up every day.
“And the whole coaching staff, Alex Mortensen, Holmon Wiggins relative to the skill position and Joe Pendry coming in here was a huge help to us. The whole coaching staff, Will Lawing, all those guys, graduate assistants and analysts, that really do a good job of helping. Everybody chipped in, and that’s the way it’s been all year.
“The whole years has been a cool, collective effort of this whole coaching staff. It’s a very, very strong coaching staff all the way across the board, offense, defense and special teams. That’s a testament to coach Saban and the type of staff he’s able to put together.”
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77