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Can Bill O’Brien be more creative with this Alabama offense?

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

Alabama fans want one thing from this offense in the fall, more creativity.

Nick Saban pulled elite transfers from the portal in Jermaine Burton, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Tyler Harrell.

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Tyler Steen will improve the offensive line, and Miles Kitselman brings physicality as a blocker at tight end.

The Crimson Tide returns Jase McClellan, Trey Sanders, Roydell Williams, Traeshon Holden, Christian Leary, JoJo Earle, Cameron Latu, and Thaiu Jones-Bell. Alabama recruited Isaiah Bond, Aaron Anderson, Kendrick Law, Kobe Prentice, Shazz Preston, Danny Lewis, Amari Niblack, Emmanuel Henderson, and Jamarion Miller. It has talent across the board and should be a top-five offense in college football. Crimson Tide fans want more creativity from Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator. The 52-year-old is back in Tuscaloosa after helping the program to a Southeastern Conference title and College Football Playoff.

O’Brien had good moments, including Bryce Young winning the Heisman Trophy. He also had moments where the fan base questioned his play-calling. Alabama averaged under 40 points per game (39.9) in 2021 and scored 40+ points in nine games.

O’Brien assisted a 4,000-yard quarterback, 1,300-yard running back (Brian Robinson Jr.), and two 1,000-yard receivers (Jameson Williams and John Metchie), but situations occurred where the play calls and execution could have been better.

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Young may be in his final season with the Crimson Tide as NFL Draft pundits expect him to be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 draft. Coach Saban would love to see him capture a national title as the starting quarterback. Young would like to have a national championship and repeat as the Heisman winner. Both will come from O’Brien putting guys in situations to be successful. He may need to have multiple backs on the field, go to some four or five receiver sets, or have multiple tight ends on the field. Whatever it takes, the Tide needs to have several players on the field that pose a threat to defenses. O’Brien will also have to work on packages for Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson. Both possess a skill set that will offset opponents at any moment.

If he becomes more creative, O’Brien will arguably have an unstoppable group.

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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.

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