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Bill O’Brien’s return as Alabama’s offensive coordinator is ‘huge,’ according to Bryce Young

Bill O'Brien watches warmups ahead of national championship
Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

Nick Saban hired new coaches to his staff at the University of Alabama in the offseason, but Bill O’Brien remains as offensive coordinator.

Alabama fans showed frustration with his game planning, but O’Brien helped the Tide win a Southeastern Conference Championship and a College Football Playoff Game. Alabama advanced to the CFP National Championship matchup, and it hung in with Georgia.

RELATED: Jahmyr Gibbs and Jermaine Burton are proving to be the missing pieces for Alabama’s offense according to Bryce Young

O’Brien coached the offense to a shade under 40 points per game (39.9), and the team recorded nine games with 40+ points.

He produced a 4,000-yard passer that won the Heisman Trophy (Bryce Young), a 1,000-yard rusher (Brian Robinson Jr.), and two 1,000-yard receivers (John Metchie and Jameson Williams). Some wanted O’Brien out of Tuscaloosa, but Coach Saban decided to hang on to the 52-year-old for another year. Young relishes the opportunity with O’Brien.

“Yeah, it’s huge for me,” Young said to reporters on Monday on O’Brien’s return. “Me and Coach OB are really close on and off the field. So, for him to be back, it’s huge for me. It’s another year for us to continue to be on the same page. It is super exciting for me. I am happy that I get another year with OB, and I am excited about the growth of the offense as a whole.”

Young has new pieces around him as a second-year starting quarterback, but familiarity at offensive coordinator is a big deal.

He set the Crimson Tide’s single-season school record for passing yards (4,872), touchdown passes (47), and total touchdowns (50) in 2021 under O’Brien.

Alabama saw Jim McElwain, Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkisian coach the offense to national championships in their second year under Saban. O’Brien looks to join the trio. He is back to run the show, and Tide fans will see what he and Young cook up for defenses in the coming fall. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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