Alabama's now-former offensive coordinator wanted to play someone sooner than Saban did.
After watching what Tua Tagovailoa did in the College Football Playoff national title game, it's fair to wonder why the freshman quarterback didn't see the field sooner. Well, at least one man on Alabama's coaching staff reportedly wanted that to happen.
Brian Daboll, the now-former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator who left for the same position on the Buffalo Bills staff, reportedly wanted to get Tagovailoa playing time sooner than he did.
It wasn't contentious, though. Daboll like Jalen Hurts and wanted to play him, but just thought that Tagovailoa deserved to get on the field, too.
However, there was some frustration on Daboll’s part on personnel matters, multiple sources told The Tuscaloosa News. These weren’t all that contentious, but they were frustrating for an offensive coordinator being asked to put his best offense on the field. Daboll wanted to play freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sooner than he has given the green light to do so. That doesn’t mean that Daboll didn’t like or want to play Jalen Hurtstoo. That’s not accurate at all. It’s just that Daboll saw what Tagovailoa was doing in practice against the best defense in the country and wanted to give him a chance once the offense started slumping in November.
That's pretty fair.
Tagovailoa did get some minimal playing time throughout the season - he was 7-11 passing for 85 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout win over Mercer - but that playing time never really came at an important time. That obviously changed in the College Football Playoff.
Alabama, at this moment, will head into the 2018 season with both Hurts and Tagovailoa on the roster. However, many expect Hurts to transfer out or pursue a position change. Alabama's former offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin, said Tagovailoa would have "no doubt" transferred if he didn't play in the title game.
Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide are expected to promote from within for the offensive coordinator job. Former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze was reportedly in Tuscaloosa on Monday, though he's open to getting any position on the staff.