Jalen Milroe calls out former OC Bill O'Brien for terrible evaluation

Alabama's Jalen Milroe revealed that former offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien told him he couldn't play quarterback.

Nov 25, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) drops back to
Nov 25, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) drops back to / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't an easy season for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but they are now one of four teams vying for the National Championship. Alabama defied the odds, overcoming an early season loss to the Texas Longhorns and handing the Georgia Bulldogs their only loss of the year in the SEC Championship Game to earn the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff.

The Crimson Tide's trip to the Playoff can be attributed to the play of quarterback Jalen Milroe, who overcame a benching early in the season to play some incredible football in the team's final five games of the season.

On Thursday, Milroe and other members of the Alabama football program spoke with reporters just days before their Rose Bowl matchup against the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines. During his conference with the press, Milroe revealed that his former offensive coordinator at Alabama, Bill O'Brien, once told him that he shouldn't play quarterback.

"He told me a bunch of positions I could have switched to, but look where I'm at right now," said Milroe. "So who gets the last laugh?"

Jalen Milroe says he has 'last laugh' over Bill O'Brien after former OC suggested position change

A reporter asked him to elaborate on how he felt at the time when O'Brien told him that, to which the quarterback responded, "How would you feel if I told you that you sucked?"

"The biggest thing for me is to be true to myself, and stay the same," said Milroe. "Nothing changed about me. The only thing that changed about me was I had the opportunity and I seized it. For me, the biggest thing was just stay true to myself and add a bigger purpose to anyone's opinion."

O'Brien left the Alabama football program after the 2022 season, just two years as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He is now the OC for the New England Patriots, where he was tasked with "fixing" former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. O'Brien has been unsuccessful, as Jones was benched multiple times in favor of Bailey Zappe, while the Patriots are 4-11 on the year as of this writing and eliminated from playoff contention.

Milroe had the unenviable position of trying to fill the shoes left by Bryce Young, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2021. Milroe was benched after the team's Week 2 loss to Texas in favor of Tyler Buchner, who was a quarterback for new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. Milroe was reinstated as the starter one week later after Buchner struggled. Yet, as seen throughout this season, the benching didn't rattle Milroe, and he stepped up in the biggest games of the season.

There was the regular-season finale, the Iron Bowl against the Auburn Tigers. With the team trailing 24-20 with less than a minute remaining, Milroe heaved up a 31-yard Hail Mary pass, which hit the waiting arms of wide receiver Isaiah Bond to give Alabama the 27-24 victory.

Then, the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, who had not lost a game since Alabama did so on Dec. 4, 2021. Milroe threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter to Jam Miller and Jermaine Burton to give the Crimson Tide the 17-7 lead entering halftime. Alabama would go on to win 27-24 to win the SEC Championship for the 30th time in program history.

Now, Milroe has the chance to show the world what he can do on New Year's Day at one of the most famous stadiums in college football. All that's standing in their way are the Wolverines, who boast a dominant defense. But Milroe showed what he can do against top defenses this season. He will look to lead Alabama to a National Championship win for the first time since the 2020 campaign.

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