Jeff Stoutland Heading to 'Bama? (Update: Joe Pendry Retiring?)

Interesting tidbit posted a few minutes ago from the Miami Hurricanes beat writer for the Sun-Sentinel, Ryan Acquavita, that has potential staff change implications for 'Bama:

Canes O-line coach Jeff Stoutland was in Tuscaloosa today, talking about joining the Alabama staff.

If you just take a quick look at Stoutland's resume, this one makes very little sense. He has spent the past twelve years of his coaching career as an offensive line coach, and he is basically a career offensive line coach. With Joe Pendry seemingly entrenched as offensive line coach, this one doesn't make a whole lot of sense in the initial glance.

But if you did a bit deeper into his background, and view this in the context of possible Bobby Williams interview with the Dallas Cowboys, this one actually makes a lot of sense. When not being an offensive line coach, Stoutland spent a couple of years at Syracuse as a tight ends coach. Furthermore, he is a New York City native who spent three years at Syracuse before spending the past twelve seasons at Michigan State and Miami.

Now, think of all of that. What are the main responsibilities of Bobby Williams? To coach the tight ends and to recruit Florida and the upper midwest. If Williams were to leave, based on Stoutland's background, you have to think that Stoutland could almost seamlessly transition into that role.

When Bo Davis left UA for Texas several days ago, Nick Saban hired Chris Rumph in a matter of hours. In hindsight, the departure of Davis was obviously expected, and Saban had a replacement lined up to step in immediately. I don't want to designate Bobby Williams as departed just yet, but it certainly seems like Saban is once again lining up another coach to replace an assistant on his way out the door.

Update: This one is in no way confirmed at this point, but Twitter is blowing up with reports of Joe Pendry retiring and Stoutland being brought in as his replacement. If that indeed turns out to be the case, obviously you can dismiss all of the Bobby Williams speculation above, and Stoutland would almost certainly be brought along as offensive line coach. We'll have to see what happens with this one, but Pendry is 64, and the offensive line did have a very, very disappointing season this past year, despite having a great deal of raw talent and experience. As a whole, Pendry has done a superb job with 'Bama, but the line this past year had to be the greatest disappointment of the season. Perhaps it's age, or perhaps Saban just thought it was time to take the offensive line in a new direction with the struggles we experienced last year and Pendry just decided to call it a career. We'll see soon enough.

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