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Alabama’s Nick Saban took a gamble this offseason by hiring 30-year old Tommy Rees from Notre Dame to run his offense. But according to one player, the move could already be paying off on a personal level.
Tommy Rees came to Alabama after Bill O’Brien decided he wanted back in the NFL and took the same job with the New England Patriots. Rees, a former ND quarterback, was certainly going to relate to the players better because of his age, but he’s also showing some ‘swag’ according to one wide receiver.
No one’s questioning Bill O’Brien’s impressive resume, his swag on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be on the same level as Rees’.
“He’s more young, got a little more swag on him, everything is a little we can more relate,” wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks said Wednesday.
When it comes to on the field work, not much is actually changing with the Tide offense. Obviously Nick Saban is running the show and Rees is running an offense that the head coach wants to see on the field. Now, this certainly won’t prevent Rees from adding a few new wrinkles, but he wasn’t coming to Tuscaloosa to change the playbook.
“I wouldn’t say too much is new, but it’s a lot different,” Brooks said about the offense.
Alabama Went Younger On Offense, Older On Defense
From a relationship standpoint, having a younger coordinator can do wonders for the football team if handled the right way. Bill O’Brien is 53-years old, while Tommy Rees is about to turn 31. Certainly the players are going to relate to him better. Heck, Rees probably listens to the same music as some of his players do, and can understand more of their everyday struggles.
When discussing the hiring of Tommy Rees, Nick Saban mentioned that age wasn’t that big of a factor, but he needed someone who could develop the quarterbacks.
“I think that was one of the critical factors in the search for a new coordinator was the guy would be a really good quarterback coach and has a history of being able to develop quarterbacks. I think we did that,” Saban mentioned a few weeks ago.
After Nick Saban decided to go young on the offensive side, he turned to an old friend on defense. Kevin Steele, who is 64, was hired as the defensive coordinator, taking over for Pete Goulding who left for Ole Miss. I don’t imagine Steele is bumping the same music as his defensive players and they surely aren’t asking him for relationship advice.
But at the end of the day, Alabama is having to replace Bryce Young. And Nick Saban thought Tommy Rees could be the guy to develop Ty Simpson and Jalen Milroe. That task alone will be difficult, but at least there’s a guy who can relate to these players on a personal level.
If anything, there will be some different music being played in the offense and defensive meeting rooms.