Alabama's O'Brien appreciates Saban reaching out when others weren't

Crimson Tide photos / Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is back for a second season after guiding last year's unit to 488.2 yards and 39.9 points per game.

On Oct. 5, 2020, Bill O'Brien was relieved of his duties as head coach and general manager of the NFL's Houston Texans.

O'Brien had guided the Texans to a 52-48 record and to four AFC South titles in a five-year stretch from 2015 to 2019. Yet an 0-4 start to his seventh season was too much to overcome, and it apparently left Alabama's current second-year offensive coordinator under Nick Saban in quite the lonely place.

"When you get fired in coaching, you find out really right away that maybe you don't have as many friends as you thought you did have," O'Brien said Sunday during a news conference. "When Coach Saban reached out to me and talked to me about this job as they were getting ready for the national championship game, as I talked with Colleen, my wife, and my family, I didn't think it was anything I could pass up.