Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Ryan Grubb Does U-Turn, Ditches Alabama for Seahawks OC Job in Sudden Twist

HomeSports NewsRyan Grubb Does U-Turn, Ditches Alabama for Seahawks OC Job in Sudden...

The college football coaching carousel took another interesting turn on Friday with the news that Ryan Grubb, who was expected to be named Alabama’s new offensive coordinator, has instead accepted the same position with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. This is a surprising development that leaves Alabama searching for a new offensive leader and provides intrigue around the Seahawks’ offense for next season.

Grubb had been linked to the Seahawks coordinator job over the past week but seemed to confirm he was Alabama bound during a Crimson Tide recruiting event on Wednesday when he told the crowd in Tuscaloosa “I’m Ryan Grubb, I’m your new offensive coordinator.” Grubb was already actively recruiting for Alabama and wearing Crimson Tide gear, making it appear he would join new Tide head coach Kalen DeBoer in Tuscaloosa. DeBoer and Grubb had worked together successfully at multiple college stops including Washington this past season, where Grubb oversaw an explosive Huskies offense led by star quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

However, the allure of coaching in the NFL and reuniting with new Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald proved too great for Grubb to pass up. He will now work under Macdonald, who replaced legendary coach Pete Carroll, as Seattle looks to retool its offense. Grubb and Macdonald have no previous coaching history together, making this an intriguing and potentially risky pairing. Still, the Seahawks likely chose Grubb due to the success he had working with Penix at Washington, where the Huskies had the third highest yardage offense in the Pac-12.

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For Alabama, this is an unexpected blow even though Grubb was never officially announced as their next offensive coordinator. Head coach DeBoer will have to pivot quickly to find a new play caller and architect for the Crimson Tide offense. Alabama is accustomed to elite offensive production and will want to identify someone who can maximize their talent at quarterback and skill positions. There are still quality candidates available, including Georgia quarterbacks coach Todd Monken, but this late resignation from Grubb complicates Alabama’s offseason plans.

As for the Seahawks, bringing in Grubb signals a commitment to building an aggressive, pass-heavy attack. Seattle re-signed veteran quarterback Geno Smith to a multi-year deal after he had a strong 2022 season, and Grubb’s scheming could take Smith and the Seahawks offense to new heights. Under Carroll, Seattle’s offense had grown stale and predictable in recent years. The 36-year-old Grubb represents a fresh approach for the Seahawks as they try to keep pace in the high-flying NFC West division.

Grubb will also look to elevate the playmakers around Smith, including talented wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. His work with Penix and Washington’s receivers suggests he can scheme receivers open and put them in positions to rack up big yards after the catch. Speedy receivers Marquise Goodwin and Dee Eskridge also figure to be utilized more as vertical threats in Grubb’s projected system. The running game remains important for Seattle’s offense, but Grubb is likely to focus more on tempo and aggressive passing rather than the run-heavy attack of previous years.

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For Grubb, this is an opportunity to demonstrate he can run an elite offense at the professional level. He has never coached in the NFL previously, making the jump from college coordinator directly to an NFL coordinator job. That is a big transition but Grubb’s confidence in his system and offensive prowess is clear in taking this challenge rather than the safer path of remaining in Alabama.

If Grubb can elevate Seattle’s offensive production, particularly in high-leverage games against the likes of San Francisco and Denver, it will bolster his reputation considerably. NFL teams are always looking for the next innovative young offensive mind. Just 36 years old, Grubb could potentially follow in the footsteps of Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan and Kevin O’Connell in becoming a future NFL head coach. This Seattle job represents the first step towards that goal.

Of course, Grubb also faces much higher expectations and pressure in the NFL compared to college. Playcalling for an NFL game is a different animal with so much talent on the field. Grubb will have to adjust to the speed of pro defenses and sustain offensive success over a 17-game season. There will also be scrutiny on how he develops Seattle’s young talent like Metcalf and Eskridge. His work with Penix showed strong ability to improve players, but doing it at the NFL level is an even greater challenge.

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The other fascinating NFL dynamic Grubb must manage is collaborating with veteran NFL quarterback Geno Smith. While Grubb should have full playcalling duties, Smith likely will want a strong voice in offensive gameplans and strategy. Managing that relationship and balancing the need for coordination while still implementing his own vision will be a delicate task. Grubb’s people skills will be tested working with the established 32-year-old Smith.

In the end, Grubb’s surprise jump to Seattle adds more drama and intrigue to what was already a busy NFL and college coaching carousel. For the Seahawks, it shows a clear desire to remake their offense and build around Geno Smith’s late career emergence. And for Alabama, it means scrambling to find an offensive leader who can help them regain supreme dominance in college football. After this stunner, all eyes will be on how Grubb’s SEC offensive concepts translate to the NFC West. If his Seattle offense takes flight, Grubb will find himself on the fast track to NFL head coaching opportunities.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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