Chris Owens spoke with reporters for the first time Monday since making the decision to return for a sixth season. Owens and Brian Robinson are taking advantage of the NCAA giving all fall sport student-athletes an additional year of eligibility and an additional year to complete it through a blanket waiver.

"Part of it was being able to learn from a bunch of NFL coaches," Owens said. "I feel like if I had went into the draft, I might not have gone where I wanted to. So knowing that coach Saban's gonna bring in some really reliable guys with some good experience. I feel like it would be just as good as going to the next level because I cam still get the same tutoring and I can learn those same lessons before I ultimately make that decision."

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone is the new offensive line coach in Tuscaloosa and former Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien takes over as the offensive coordinator.

Owens started both of the College Football Playoff games for the Crimson Tide when All-American Landon Dickerson went down in the SEC Championship Game. He would start three games in 2020, two at center and one at right tackle during Alabama's national championship run.

The Arlington, Texas native has shuffled around the offensive line during his five years in Tuscaloosa. He has played every position along the front except for left tackle. Owens has also spent time as a blocking tight end.

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Alabama will have a new revamped offensive line in 2021 with Dickerson, Alex Leatherwood and Deonte Brown headed off to the NFL. Last season, the Tide brought home the Joe Moore Award, an award presented to the offensive line that best exhibits toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique and finishing.

Owens is the oldest member of a young offensive line that features four true freshman. "For us, it's just about being patient, trusting the process and knowing that things are going to come along eventually," Owens said. "But we just can't rush them, so we have to take everything day by day."

As a veteran, Alabama will rely on Owens leadership throughout the 2021 season.

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