Nick Saban has reportedly identified a pair of NFL castoffs, including former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, as candidates to be Alabama’s next offensive coordinator.

According to college football insider Bruce Feldman, Saban is “considering” O’Brien and former Jets coach Adam Gase to replace Steve Sarkisian in that OC role.

Sarkisian is leaving to take the Texas head coaching job after the National Championship Game next week.


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This would be an interesting return to college for O’Brien, who was Penn State’s head coach from 2012-13. He left State College to take the Houston Texans job, but he was fired from that post earlier this season.

During O’Brien’s time in the NFL, he made the playoffs four times in six seasons but never advanced beyond the divisional round.

Gase also has a connection to the college game, and to Saban. He was on LSU’s staff while Saban was the head coach for the Tigers from 2000-02. Gase was also a student at Michigan State while Saban was the Spartans’ head coach.