Where In Alabama is Kevin Steele?

-UPDATE-

The Tuscaloosa News is reporting that Kevin Steele is expected to return to the Alabama program, which is good news. The Tuscaloosa News usually knows what it is talking about when it comes to these things, so don’t automatically question the story. This means there will be some continuity on the defensive side of the ball for Alabama, which is required if you are to win in the SEC. The rest of this post will stay up

-UPDATE-

There has been plenty of speculation about the future of Alabama Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele. Will he take the DC job for Arkansas? Will he become the new head football coach at South Alabama? Nobody seems to know for sure based on the talk radio shows.

The Birmingham News is reporting that Kevin Steele is expected to stay on at Alabama (Ian Rapoport), while the Mobile Register seems to believe that Steele is still in the thick of things at USA (Gentry Estes and Kim Shugart). The Arkansas job seems to be a no show at this point, so I doubt we’ll be playing against Steele in the future .

Stay Kevin….. stay

Dan McCarney, the other candidate from South Florida, appears to have turned the job down. He is also being mentioned as a possible candidate to join Florida’s staff.

Honestly, I don’t think Alabama would miss Steele from a coaching aspect as much as we would a recruiting aspect. Steele was rated a top national recruiter while at Florida State, and he seems to be doing a great job for the Tide. This is Saban’s program, where he has total control of what goes on in every aspect of the program (the first time in a while an HC has had this at Alabama). Saban decides what defense we run, Steele coaches the players and calls the plays per Saban’s approval.

If I were to look at a Coordinating job at a BCS school verses a head coaching job at a start-up program, I would stick with the BCS school. Most major programs would look at the hot assistants before a coach at a struggling smaller school. It seems obvious that Steele wants another head coaching job (his stay at Baylor was a flop), so I suggest he sticks around. Besides, he has family just up the interstate near West Blocton, Alabama, (the reason he came to Tuscaloosa in the first place), so it would make the most sense for him in my opinion. But, I’m not Coach Steele, so we shall wait and see.

Your McNulty Got On My McElwain!

So, it appears that two Offensive Coordinators are in Tuscaloosa interviewing for the same position. We know about Jim McElwain from Fresno State, but John McNulty of Rutgers has been added to the list. McNulty has been confirmed in Tuscaloosa, and will interview for the opening (NJ.com)

 2007 was McNulty’s first year as full time OC. He shared the duties in the past with Craig Ver Steeg, and has played an important role in the rise of Rutgers football. The Scarlet Knights had a 3,000 yard passer, 2,000 rusher, and two 1,000 yard recievers this past season. Stay tuned for more information.

Greg Schiano and John McNulty

The McElwain Analysis

If you had never heard of Jim McElwain before, you aren’t the only one. He’s the former Oakland Raiders assistant turned college Offensive Coordinator for Fresno State (profile-what an amazing tan).

Born in Montana, Jim McElwain went to Eastern Washington University. He’s been a career assistant, with stops at EWU, Montana State, Louisville, Michigan State (no Saban ties), Oakland, and Fresno State. He seems to improve whatever position/ side of the football he coached on, minus the Oakland Raiders.

From what I’ve gathered, there are possible good qualities, and possible bad qualities about this hire. But, as fans, we always like a fresh helping of spin whenever it comes to bad features.

The Good

  • Fans and coaches at Fresno have attributed their 9 win season to McElwain’s arrival, where they went 4-8 the previous season.
  • Fresno scored 427 points last season, where they had over 5400 yards total. FSU scored 276 in 2006. (LINK)
  • Fresno’s QB, Tom Brandstater, improved dramatically under McElwain. He had 13 TDs, 14 Ints, and a QB rating of 106.74 in 2006. For 2007, he had 15 TDs, 5 Ints, and a QB rating of 140.48.
  • He developed such players as Plaxico Burress while the Recievers coach at Mich. State.
  • His offense blew out Kansas State (45-29), where Fresno had two drives of 70+ yards, one drive of 80+ yards, and one drive of 90+ yards.
  • Fresno blew out the “genius” John Tenuta (40-28), where they had 2 drives over 70 yards, 0ne drive over 80 yards, and two drives over 90 yards against Georgia Tech.

The Bad

  • He coached for the Oakland Raiders, who probably had the worst QB tandem in the NFL that season in an injured Aaron Brooks and Andrew Walter. I don’t think they had 10 passing TDs combined.
  • He was a part of a bad MSU program under John L. Smith.
  • Nobody in the eastern U.S. seems to recognize his name.
  • His previous OC experience came at Montana State in the 1990’s.

The Spin

  • Oakland is a train wreck on top of a volcano with Al Davis ruining everything. True, he had Randy Moss, but that guy is one of the laziest players in the league without Tom Brady.
  • There was zero offensive talent- save the RB- for Oakland.
  • Michigan State had a crazy face slapper as a head coach. McElwain did a good job with the receivers.
  • He’s done pretty well for himself after Montana State.
  • Because Nick Saban wants him, which means we must offer our joy in appreciation with the sacrifice of one tiger painted orange and blue (check the back of your Tide Pride ticket order sheet, it’s on there).

In the end, you can’t tell whether a guy will be a success or not until his product walks out onto the field. He seems to be a hard worker, which is a must if you want to coach under Nick Saban. Hopefully, he will accept the offer and have success at Alabama. I like his background, although it does concern me about how long he has been a Divsion I-A OC. But, Jimbo Fisher wasn’t that experienced, and he turned out to be fairly successful under Saban. Stay tuned for the latest news on the Coordinator search.

OC Search Taking Shape

Well, other than an article on Michigan’s QB coach Scot Loeffler, there really has been very little news coming out of Tuscaloosa. However, we are starting to get a few hints as to who Coach Saban has been looking at. Currently, one has asked to be left off of the list, while the other has said he’s never been contacted at all….. the first is Louisville OC Jeff Brohm, and the other is Ga. Southern head coach Chris Hatcher. I would’ve prefered Hatcher over an unproven Brohm, but it is what it is… right?

So that leaves us wondering who is still on the board. Since the New York Giants have beaten the Green Bay Packers, the Packers QB coach Tom Clements is now available for a phone call…. if he doesn’t lose his face to frostbite. You may remember him as the Notre Dame QB that lead that game winning drive against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. I’m willing to forgive him for that if he comes to Tuscaloosa.

I think his crazy head of hair would fit in at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Building

After Clements, there is news of current Nebraska OC Shawn Watson (Ian Rapoport -Birmingham News) emerging as a candidate. Watson was also Colorado’s OC from 2000-2005. Yes, the Huskers went 5-7 this season, but their main problems have been on defense. Nebraska actually scored over 400 points this past season, although I’m under the impression that Callahan was the one calling a majority of the plays. We’ll see how much buzz is generated by his name being mentioned.

He too has the hair…

Next, we have TCU Offensive Coordinator Mike Schultz. I’m hoping we can hire somebody better than Schultz, since his offense last season was less that stellar.

For some reason, and I’m not sure why, LSU Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton’s name keeps coming up. Gentry Estes from the Mobile Register leads us to believe that he’s somewhat interested in the job, although I think he’s really just trying to put some feelers out in case something strange starts to happen under Les Miles. Better safe than sorry right?

Maybe we could stick a toupee on him? WHERE’S KARL MALONE!?

I know some will read about Crowton and automatically spout “why would he leave?! You’re crazy!” Just remember this, things are not always as they seem in SEC football politics. People thought Will Muschamp would be crazy to leave an talented Auburn defense, but he bolted quickly after the Peach Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Crowton leaving LSU wouldn’t shock me, nor would Crowton staying in LSU.

Finally, the name Bryan Harsin from Bosie State is being mentioned. He turned down Alabama last year, so I doubt he changes his mind.

Personally, I would hire Clements with Loeffler as the QB coach. If not, then I guess I would prefer either Crowton (something tells me he won’t be the guy) or Watson (something seems strange about him).

Scot Loeffler Maybe?

Well, I realized that I could not sleep, so I decided to waste about 20 minutes online, hoping for the internet to lull me to sleep. While I was checking the message boards and sites alike, I noticed that it appears we have somebody from Michigan on our radar. From BamaOnline.com (I won’t share any quotes due to possible lawsuits that would hurt my poor checking account).

He appears to be Scot Loeffler, developer of Tom Brady, Drew Henson, and Chad Henne if memory serves me right. I for one would be super excited if Coach Loeffler joined the staff. He would bring a good track record since that Brady fellow is setting NFL records like it is going out of style. Granted, he was a Graduate Assistant at the time, but Brady seems to have positive things to say about him, none of that wishy washy “he’s cool” kind of stuff. We shall see what happens.

loeffler1.jpg
be still my beating heart…

Cloverfield

Do you know what this Offensive Coordinator search is starting to remind me of?

Yes, the strange movie titled “Cloverfield”. If you saw the original preview, you only got a very bare bones intro with the Statue of Liberty’s head flying through the air after learning that the main character is moving to Japan for whatever reason. Of course, the natural reaction wasn’t about the guy leaving, it was about what creature or monster was attacking the city. Some people think it was Godzilla, while others felt that it is in fact a new creation.

Most people seem to have their own opinions as to why Major Applewhite has ended up in Austin, Texas. However, the real topic burning up the message boards is about who will replace Major as Offensive Coordinator at Alabama. Much like this movie, people have their own rumors and “sources”, but nothing concrete has been released. There has been scuttlebutt about an older OC (Joe Pendry) taking full control, but most fans want new blood.

What will happen? I have no clue, but I will promise you that I and my fellow bloggers will search high and low until we find definite proof of this new OC….. until lunch time, because a guy has to eat to stay healthy. But after that, I am totally going to start searching again…. during my break time, because I’m interning and my bosses would be unhappy. But after work, I’m going to really start my in depth investigation… for 30 minutes before I meet my buddies and go to see Cloverfield.

I guess I should say I’ll know when you know. Roll Tide!

Come On Down, Bobby Williams!

Former Michigan State head coach Bobby Williams will join Alabama’s staff as the new Tight Ends coach, per Tom Dienhart of The Sporting News. I’m glad we could land him as a position coach alone, because he has a good track record as a good recruiter and coach (for position coaching). Thank goodness we avoided the ole Williams bullet for OC, now we just have to avoid the Pendry rumors.

Wooooo!!!