Jaguars Rumors: Alabama's Bill O'Brien to Interview for HC Job After Loss to Georgia

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 12, 2022

Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien watches Alabama warm up before an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

The Jacksonville Jaguars will interview Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien on Wednesday for their head coaching vacancy, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

This is O'Brien's first year in his current job. Before joining the Crimson Tide, he went 52-48 in seven years as head coach of the Houston Texans.

Houston fired O'Brien partway through the 2020 season following an 0-4 start. He dug his own grave in large part because of personnel moves he executed as the Texans' primary decision-maker. By the time he left, the franchise was a disaster.

The organization's problems weren't solely on O'Brien, though, and the Jaguars' brass might think he can be effective if his duties are limited to coaching.

Based on how his Texans tenure ended, the 52-year-old might be a tough sell for a fanbase that has already grown disenchanted after learning Trent Baalke is staying on as general manager:


Jaguars fans are protesting GM Trent Baalke by wearing clown costumes 🤡😂<br><br>🎥: <a href="https://twitter.com/BoldCityBrigade?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BoldCityBrigade</a> <br> <a href="https://t.co/5QenoK4FIB">pic.twitter.com/5QenoK4FIB</a>

The Urban Meyer experiment failed and appeared to set back Trevor Lawrence's development.

Lawrence threw for 3,641 yards, 12 touchdowns and an NFL-high 17 interceptions as a rookie. And many presumed the No. 1 overall was the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft and primed to make an immediate impact.

To O'Brien's credit, he specializes in offense, particularly the quarterback position. Deshaun Watson reached three straight Pro Bowls under his watch. Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg's best years at Penn State overlapped with his two seasons in charge. Alabama's Bryce Young won the Heisman Trophy this season.

When it comes to Watson, however, some argued he was thriving in spite of O'Brien. With Young, it's also difficult to know how much credit O'Brien deserves because the sophomore is far from the first Crimson Tide quarterback to excel in recent years.

Granting O'Brien an interview and actually hiring him are two separate things, so any handwringing about his possible arrival in Jacksonville might be premature.

If he is the ultimate choice, however, it's safe to say the Jags will have to face a level of skepticism about their general direction.