Ryan Grubb is going back to Seattle, but will be coaching a different team this season as opposed to last. The star offensive coordinator on Kalen DeBoer's Washington Huskies initially followed him to Tuscaloosa to be the new face of the Alabama Crimson Tide's offense. Well, Grubb spent about a month in the SEC before going back to the Pacific Northwest to lead the Seattle Seahawks offense.
Yes, Grubb was one of the last coordinator hires made on the NFL's coaching carousel. New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald had been at Michigan not that long ago. He wanted to go with a guy with ample coordinator experience, but possibly one outside the box. Grubb is certainly that. Although this is probably a good career move for him in the end, maybe DeBoer made a big mistake?
DeBoer not only has to ingratiate himself into a new region of the country he has never lived before, but has to replace a living legend in Nick Saban on the Alabama sidelines. How he goes about assembling and coaching his first Alabama staff will go a long way toward seeing if he will have any staying power in the SEC. Losing Grubb is awful, but his name had been tied to Seattle for weeks now.
If DeBoer were to act swiftly, here are the three candidates to consider hiring to best replace Grubb.
Alabama football: 3 smart replacements for Ryan Grubb as OC
3. JaMarcus Shepard is a potential candidate to be promoted from within
JaMarcus Shepard first got connected with DeBoer when he came on his initial Washington staff in 2022 as an associate head coach, passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. He held that role on both staffs DeBoer led in Washington. As expected, Shepard came along with DeBoer and followed him to Tuscaloosa, where he is currently serving as the Crimson Tide's wide receivers coach.
At only 40 years old, Shepard feels like a rising star in the coaching profession. His great work at Washington as the receivers coach helped the Huskies have one of the best seasons to date. The receiving corps was the Huskies' deepest position group. Obviously, a promotion to something more than just wide receivers coach may be in order after Grubb's departure to the NFL over the weekend.
While I would not be opposed to this, I think the biggest thing that holds Shepard back from being the sole offensive coordinator is that he has never called plays before. DeBoer may take on that role anyway to help bridge the gap in changing leagues with his coaching staff. For that reason, I am skeptical that it will be Shepard, but nobody is expecting for Alabama to win the SEC next season.
This could be a savvy move in the long run for the Alabama coaching staff, or it could be disastrous.