The end could be near for the Alabama Crimson Tide coaching staff in its current form — with Nick Saban looking to potentially make major changes to his support staff once the 2022 season concludes. That could include one or more coordinators being let go by the 71-year-old.
Mike Farrell, an NFL, high school, and college football recruiting specialist, wrote as much in his latest piece addressing Week 12 rumors. “With everything circulating the Alabama program this year, could Nick Saban bring in new staff for the 2023 season?” asked Farrell.
“I believe he does. While Pete Goulding and Bill O’Brien are solid recruiters, their skills have yet to show on the field this season,” Farrell wrote. “Every name is a candidate for a school like Alabama, and if the Tide let both walk, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big-name coach join the staff for a year before accepting a Head Coaching job elsewhere. On the defensive side, Alabama needs a coordinator to bring them back to the Kirby Smart Era defense. I believe Saban will at least let one walk this offseason in hopes to save the Tide’s dynasty.”
Bill O’Brien Could Return to the New England Patriots
Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator of the past two seasons, Bill O’Brien, could return to the New England Patriots — where he famously coached Tom Brady under Bill Belichick during a four-year title drought from 2007-2011 for the all-time great duo.
Albert Breer, NFL senior reporter for 98.5 The Sports Hub, revealed the rumor. “What happens at Alabama is interesting, and I think everybody here should be paying attention to it,” Breer said. “Is it possible that Nick (Saban) and Bill (Belichick) talk and Billy O’Brien wants to come back (to New England) and Nick maybe feels like it’s time to change their offense a little bit after, God forbid, they lose two games? … I think that could be in play here, absolutely.”
O’Brien’s first season in New England saw the Patriots go undefeated during the regular season before losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
Nick Saban on Pete Golding’s Award Nomination
As for Alabama’s defensive coordinator, Pete Golding was nominated for the Broyles award for the second consecutive year. Nick Saban was highly complimentary of Golding during a November 16 press conference.
“I think Pete has done a really, really good job,” Saban said ahead of a 34-0 Alabama blowout of Austin Peay. “He’s very bright. He articulates well with the players. He’s a good teacher. I think he’s a good motivator.”
Saban added a caveat defending why Golding’s defense has been by and large less disciplined than years’ past in Tuscaloosa. “He’s done a very good job with the personnel that we have,” Saban said, seemingly letting the defensive coordinator off the hook. “I just really appreciate the really good job that he’s done. I think he’s made really positive steps every year since he’s been here. I love hiring younger guys like that and letting them grow and develop in the organization. He’s certainly done a fantastic job of that.”