Jeff Lebby Is an Alabama Football Offensive Coordinator Candidate

Getty Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby is an Alabama football offensive coordinator target in the event Bill O'Brien bolts for the NFL

During the January 19 edition of The Paul Finebaum Show, ESPN national college football reporter Pete Thamel linked Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby to the same job within the Alabama football program — that in the event Bill O’Brien leaves for the New England Patriots, as has been rumored.

Thamel sees Nick Saban adapting to what Josh Heupel accomplished offensively at Tennessee in 2022 as a potential reason to pursue Lebby, who helped raise the ceiling for Baylor during the late 2000s and early 2010s. “I would think that Nick Saban saw the fits that Tennessee and Josh Heupel gave him this year,” Thamel said, “and offensively, I think they’ll probably trend a little bit and maybe overcorrect a little bit more that way as they go. Now, I’m not saying they’re gonna turn into the Baylor offense from the mid-2000s. But one name I’ve heard is (Jeff Lebby), the Oklahoma offensive coordinator. He’s obviously had success in the SEC West footprint (in 2020-21 at Ole Miss).”

Experience under Lane Kiffin in 2021, Thamel feels, would aid Lebby in replicating that sort of high-octane hurry-up offense in Tuscaloosa. “He’s obviously learned from Lane Kiffin and branched out to Oklahoma last year — to some mixed results in a rebuilding year,” Thamel said. “But I do think that if the option schematically is to go faster or slower, my expectation is Alabama’s gonna end up going faster.”

Bill O’Brien is the Primary OC Target for the New England Patriots

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran revealed on January 16 that Alabama football offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien — who has completed his two-year commitment to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide and is unsigned as of now — is the primary target for the same role with the New England Patriots.

“The primary target is former Patriots OC, former Penn State and Texans head coach, former Alabama OC Bill O’Brien,” Curran wrote. “There is unanimity on all sides that O’Brien’s the best person for the job and — while there are other candidates with merit — the familiarity ownership and Mac Jones have with O’Brien and O’Brien’s willingness to return mean it would be an upset if he doesn’t get the job.”

It should be noted that O’Brien and Mac Jones’ time in Tuscaloosa barely overlapped after O’Brien was hired in January 2021 due to Jones being drafted to the NFL just three months later.

Bill O’Brien Claimed He Didn’t Speak to Patriots Before Sugar Bowl

Back before the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Eve, Bill O’Brien told the media on December 28 that he wasn’t focused on anything but his team’s upcoming clash with Kansas State.

“It’s kind of that time of year when things come up and things pop up,” O’Brien said. “I haven’t spoken to anybody in New England since probably last April when I went by and saw those guys when I was up there. I wish them well in their last however many games they have left. We’re very focused on this game and focused on coaching this team to the best of our ability.”

Things have certainly changed drastically in a few short weeks, with O’Brien’s next destination and his replacement already seemingly lined up.