Alabama Football: Five Potential Offensive Coordinators And More

Alabama Football needs an Offensive Coordinator to replace Steve Sarkisian. Here are five potential choices and a few more names buzzing around.

Mike Locksley

Locksley was promoted from offensive analyst to a field position upon the Lane Kiffin exit. Less than two weeks after the CFP championship game, Locksley was named as Alabama’s Co-Offensive Coordinator with Sarkisian.

Nick Saban made the quick elevation of Locksley for a reason. You can guess Saban did not learn yesterday about Sark’s plans. It certainly appears that Nick has already decided who will fill the Sark vacancy.

Chip Kelly

The big buzz going on is about Chip Kelly. Kelly is a high-octane guy who oozes high-octane offense. Would Kelly accept an assistant coach position after being a successful college head coach and an NFL head coach? Maybe.

Would Kelly be willing to tailor his offensive wizardry to mesh with Saban’s overall style? Maybe and maybe not.

Kelly has a reputation as being an abrasive guy, with other coaches and players.  Can two powder kegs cohabitate the Alabama sideline without a detrimental conflagration? Not likely?

Saban respects Kelly’s football mind evidenced by Kelly’s visits to Tuscaloosa to share offensive ideas. Could Kelly accept that Nick might not embrace all his ideas? Maybe.

Mark Helfrich

Helfrich is an interesting option. He is young but experienced and in need of redemption. His first shot as Oregon’s head coach did not prove successful. Helfrich needs to reestablish himself as an offensive genius in order to get another quality head coach opportunity.

Helfrich brings most of what Alabama would gain by hiring Kelly. What he brings that Kelly doesn’t is someone who can mesh with Saban and the Alabama coaching staff.

Mario Cristobal

Cristobal is the offensive coordinator at Oregon. Saban knows him and respects him. He knows Cristobal is a great recruiter.

In short, Nick Saban knows exactly what he would gain by bringing Mario back to Tuscaloosa. The only question with Cristobal is whether his offensive repertoire has enough sizzle. Saban may be looking for someone a little more cutting edge.

Billy Napier

Saban could bring Napier back from ASU. No doubt Napier would jump at the chance.

Like Cristobal, Napier is a known commodity for Saban. Napier is an energetic young coach who is a great recruiter. Napier’s track record does not equal the guys listed above. He might make a great Alabama Offensive Coordinator, or he might not.

You have to ask if Napier is the best choice, why did Saban already promote Locksley over him?

Other Names Being Mentioned

Before listing the other names it is worthwhile to remember that Jim McElwain and Kiffin were surprise choices. In advance of their hires, almost no one would have predicted them becoming Crimson Tide offensive coordinators.

It would be no surprise if Nick surprised everyone again.

The others: Derek Dooley; Sonny Dykes; Burton Burns; George Godsey.

In the longshot list, only Godsey seems to make much sense. Dooley and Burns don’t appear to have the experience to provide much offensive wizardry. Dykes would provide too much. An Air-Raid guy running the Alabama offensive? Seems like dangerous alchemy. Godsey needs a job and if Saban trusts his offensive mind, he might be a good fit.

If you are a gambler, maybe don’t bet on any of these guys; take the field.

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