Alabama may be just what Lane Kiffin needs and vice versa
With three down and one more football practice to go before the players head out of town for spring break Alabama’s newly hired offensive coordinator is already making a splash for the Crimson Tide. The 38 yr old former head coach doesn’t get to speak to the media other than the one of two times a year so in this instance actions will speak much louder than words.
With a career that seemed to have hit rock bottom during the 2013 season after being fired mid-way through Kiffin found an unlikely home with coach Saban and Alabama. The high profile coach and his visor have made their way onto the practice field and Kiffin seems to be getting back into the groove of ‘coaching’ instead of ‘managing’. Kiffin has seen all kinds of drama though-out his career which has seemed to have weighed on the young coach causing him to show his frustrations on many occasions. However, getting back to what he does best looks to be just what the doctor ordered. “People know who he is. He’s very high profile,” Brian Vogler said. “Seeing him over there, I think it’s great, honestly.” Kiffin has been very energetic on the field moving from drill to drill teaching and instructing the players during the first three practices. And more importantly, the players seem to be responding well to the style and instruction well. Amari Cooper said Kiffin has made the offense more “player-friendly” as he explained that the offensive guru makes it easier to know what you’re supposed to do when a play is called.
Although Kiffin is in a new place and rebuilding his career under the tutelage of Nick Saban he may be just what the doctor ordered for Alabama as well. The Crimson Tide is looking to replace AJ McCarron who has been at the reign for three years and has been a very solid and stable leader at the QB position even with a couple of OC changes. The offense for Alabama has a ton of talent in the wide receivers, running backs and tight ends as well as some un-proven and unseen (Jacob Coker) talent at QB. Kiffin who built a great reputation putting together powerful offenses will have a nearly clean slate to start with at Alabama. But not only will he help the offense to rebuild, but one has to wonder if Nick Saban and Kirby Smart may lean the offensive architect for some insights into potential strategies against the spread style offenses.
One thing is for certain as the spring gets underway, Kiffin is making waves in Tuscaloosa but these waves are not like the ones he has seen in the recent past. Some may question the hiring by Saban, others may rejoice and still others may still be in shock, but as Vogler stated “It’s Saban’s [team], so it’s going to be the same offense” but he went on to say that even though the style may not change much but he expects a few more wrinkles and for the offense to be “a little bit more dynamic”.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the next few weeks unfold in spring training and what fans may see in the A-Day game. My guess is that not a lot will be different from previous years scrimmages other than the quarterback position and a few other key roles but not matter which wave of emotion you’re on regarding Kiffin’s hiring, it’s going to be an interesting ride – Hang Loose, Dude!
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