This picture of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and former Tennessee coach Butch Jones having a conversation at Alabama’s pro day on Wednesday would be fun simply by looking at the body language and the facial expressions.
But there’s another layer of intrigue when you consider the shirt Jones is wearing.
Meeting of the minds here at @AlabamaFTBL Pro Day.
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) March 7, 2018
Yes, that’s Jones in an Alabama shirt. The former Volunteers coach had reportedly met with Alabama coach Nick Saban regarding a role as an offensive analyst, and maybe that meeting was fruitful. We’d be hard-pressed to consider Jones is wearing an Alabama shirt just for the purpose of trolling Tennessee fans. While that would be the power move of the college football offseason, we’re guessing there’s another reason Jones is donning Crimson.
Meanwhile, look at Belichick’s face. Is he even listening or distracted by what’s in front of him? Maybe the trash can is at pro day?!?!
Jones joining Nick Saban’s staff would be another example of a fired coach finding a place at Alabama. Saban has previously hired Lane Kiffin, Mike Locksley and Steve Sarkisian as offensive analysts and all three have made their way to offensive coordinator, even if just for a single game. Locksley is Alabama’s newest offensive coordinator after Brian Daboll returned to the NFL following a one-year stint with the Tide.
Jones was fired from Tennessee in November with two games remaining in the season. The Vols cratered in 2017 and, to tie this story even tighter to Alabama, ended up replacing him with former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Jones wasn’t the only former head coach in attendance. Ex-Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and ex-Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez also made appearances in Tuscaloosa.
Along with Butch Jones, I’ve spotted Bret Bielema and Rich Rodriguez at Alabama’s Pro Day. pic.twitter.com/tNadxzD7Eh
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) March 7, 2018
Bielema, who was fired after five seasons with the Razorbacks, was reportedly there with Belichick. Rodriguez was fired by Arizona under dubious circumstances. The reason for his appearance is less clear.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.