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Nick Saban explains himself about hiring Lane Kiffin

Nick Saban AP

What the heck was Nick Saban thinking when he hired Lane Kiffin to be Alabama’s offensive coordinator?

The Crimson Tide coach let some of his mind be known to Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com on Monday at the annual AFCA coaches convention.

“I’ve known him for a long time,” Saban told Dodd. “I always thought he was a really good coach. All his issues come from something we’re not asking him to do.”

Kiffin’s main issues are relating to, and interacting with, humans. These just so happen to be issues critical to being a good football coach. Unless Saban plans on having Kiffin coach his offense from a subterranean bunker, sealed off from humanity, then these issues are likely to reemerge at some point.

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29 Responses to “Nick Saban explains himself about hiring Lane Kiffin”
  1. bralinshan says: Jan 13, 2014 5:28 PM

    Your WRONG. I’m not defending Kiffin because he was justly fired. But, a coach who takes over a sanctioned riddled program with severe scholarship restrictions and still manages to fill the pipeline with talent…and goes 28-15….isn’t the worst coach in the world.
    Also, Nick Saban is smarter than you are in matters pertaining to football. I’d trust him 1,000 times more than a blogger.
    It’s very easy to do the conventional pile on with Lane Kiffin. But, the guy has some ability. He wasn’t ready for a head coaching job…but, after spending a few years under Saban?
    My guess is that it’s just what he needs. And, he’ll likely be leading a program again in 4-5 years…after a great dose of leadership and humility.

  2. noleitup says: Jan 13, 2014 5:41 PM

    I can hear the 30 for 30 voice now. “What if I told you that one man could destroy a dynasty”.

  3. thraiderskin says: Jan 13, 2014 5:53 PM

    Lane kiffin isn’t going to mess with what Saban has built, he is just an offensive coordinator. Why does Saban have to defend the hiring of an offensive coordinator?

  4. thekatman says: Jan 13, 2014 5:55 PM

    Kiffin was able to take USC to 2 10 win seasons with a depleted roster, and this 2013 season we went 10-4, won our bowl game over a higher ranked opponent, and played that game with less than 50 schollie players.
    Not even Saban could do that at ‘bama when they were sanctioned.

    After the 2014 season, schollie sanctions will be no more and USC will be able to bring in 25 players that won’t HAVE to go to another school, like what has happened over the past 3 years.

    USC will be back, and will be a force to be reckoned with again.

  5. dhardy8207 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:07 PM

    I think one thing that gets overlooked is Lane is still a “young man”… I will be the first to say he has had some entitlement issues and that’s not unheard of when your daddy has been a lifelong coach in some fashion. Not uncommon to think you know everything because of what you’ve been exposed to. Take George W Bush for example; (Jesus take the wheel cause I’m about to get blasted by the teapots/bigots) he had a lot of faithful followers at the state level. Some give him credit for doing a great job as Govenor. However, as a president he sucked (JMHO). He too felt he was entitled because his daddy had held the highest office in the free world and he thought he could do a better job.

    Point is everyone doesn’t grow up (mature fully) in every aspect by the time they reach adulthood. It sometimes takes embarrassing yourself and falling flat on your face to realize that you’re not all that you built yourself up to be. That fall gives one something called humility and makes you strive to do better.

    If he were the HC I would be down on my knees praying, but as I said before Lane needs this to work if he expects to ever get another coaching gig. It would be career suicide for him to get to BAMA and screw this up and knowing the displeasure that comes with his name and rep. better know Saban and Batttle will be watching him closely…

  6. timmons94 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:20 PM

    Anyone who questions Sabah is a fool. Guy is simply one of best coaches ever…. He is a machine

  7. soundsofsuccess7 says: Jan 13, 2014 6:41 PM

    “Kiffin’s main issues are relating to… interacting with humans”

    What..

    You can’t fire shots like that and then not explain them, man..

  8. peopletrains says: Jan 13, 2014 7:00 PM

    I guess it beats pumping gas.

  9. mogogo1 says: Jan 13, 2014 7:28 PM

    thraiderskin says:

    Lane kiffin isn’t going to mess with what Saban has built, he is just an offensive coordinator. Why does Saban have to defend the hiring of an offensive coordinator?
    _______

    Because the man has failed miserably at every single higher-level job he’s ever had. The only success he’s ever seen was on Pete Carroll’s staff when he shared OC duties with Sarkisian.

    If you sleep better at night pretending he can’t screw anything up, then fine. But I assure you, he can. Biggest danger area is going to be his recruiting, since he’s had issues on that front with the NCAA before.

  10. 1990tiger says: Jan 13, 2014 7:34 PM

    @dhardy-
    You show how narrow minded and intolerant you are when you make statements about how anyone who supported Bush is either a teapotter or a bigot.

  11. mogogo1 says: Jan 13, 2014 7:40 PM

    dhardy8207 says:

    I think one thing that gets overlooked is Lane is still a “young man”…
    _____________

    He was born in 1975 and is 38 years old. At what age might we expect him to reach maturity? You make it sound like he’s some grad assistant who can finally buy beer legally when the man has been head coach of two major colleges and an NFL franchise.

  12. sportsguy3434 says: Jan 13, 2014 8:24 PM

    So are you saying that he will be coaching from the press box? Otherwise it will be interesting to see a bright red Saban spraying spittle in Kiffins face saying fix it after a interception.

    Also even Mike Gundy knows you are a man at 40…

  13. tfilarski says: Jan 13, 2014 8:32 PM

    he’s nick saban. should not have to explain himself.

  14. dkhhuey says: Jan 13, 2014 8:48 PM

    Outside of his little NFL ‘oops’ experiment – Saban has pretty much kicked ass at every destination stop! I’m thinking he knows what he is doing on every single level of this!

  15. realfootballfan says: Jan 13, 2014 9:28 PM

    When he gets his first correspondence from Saban while on vacation and doesn’t get back with him in 5 minutes, alot of stuff is going to change. Just ask Will Muschamp.

  16. vols84 says: Jan 13, 2014 9:35 PM

    Oh how the tide has turned into a bunch of Kiffin apologists. Can’t wait to hear Finebaum praise this hire.

  17. realfootballfan says: Jan 13, 2014 9:42 PM

    Also, for those saying Kiffin is going to be transformed into this great head coaching prospect under Saban, give me a break. He’s a dunce. He’s demonstrated that he doesn’t have either the expertise or temperament to be leader of anything. Name me the last guy (who has had 3 major head coaching jobs by the way) who’s “figured” it out” after failing pretty much over and over again in all three places because of limited coaching ability to go along with a prickly personality? Lane Kiffin has no presence, no great innovation in his past, nothing.

    Saban simply likes him because he’s a conservative, limited offensive play caller who happens to be a great recruiter. That makes him perfect for the job because frankly, the rest of his offensive coordinators haven’t been that great either. Stop trying to find deeper meaning in it all. Fisher grew exponentially once he separated himself from him and stayed at LSU under Miles.

    And for the guy who might just be Kiffin’s cousin or something posting talking about the “sanctions” strangling the USC program. Give me a brake. USC should not be almost losing to Utah State or getting destroyed by Arizona State, EVER. No excuse. It’s as silly as Miami fans thinking that Al Golden is going to take them somewhere now that the “cloud” has been lifted after he’s demonstrated that outside of being a slick salesman, he’s a mediocre game day coach. Miami should never be losing to teams like Virginia and Duke. It’s embarrassing.

  18. mcgillicutty49er says: Jan 13, 2014 9:44 PM

    The same Alabama fans that were having a good laugh at the silliness that Kiffen was doing at Tennessee are now trying their best to justify this hire. The fans are wanting to show support for Saban because they are afraid of him. Just like the drunk chick that dive bombed the Oklahoma fans apologizing to “coach Saban for her actions.” Haha!!! He doesn’t care about you all…just keep on getting that checkbook out when another school threatens to take him away in the middle of the night. RTBDTHRTR!!!

  19. mcgillicutty49er says: Jan 13, 2014 9:50 PM

    Vols84…you are seeing the same thing that everyone not decked out from head to toe in that hideous color is seeing. Never seen so many Alabama fans rally around someone just a few years ago was laughing at.

  20. manik56 says: Jan 13, 2014 10:46 PM

    How do I give that last paragraph a thumbs down?

  21. ptsportsdebate says: Jan 13, 2014 11:18 PM

    All you need to know:

    http://wp.me/p4bd61-4u

  22. dzimas61 says: Jan 14, 2014 7:41 AM

    I’ve got a lot of respect for Nick Saban, but I just don’t understand this call. If Kiffin was a great offensive mastermind I could understand it, but this is a guy who has only got where he has thanks to his father, Monte. Wherever Lane pitched up, there were great expectations in him and he failed each and every time. Now, Alabama’s offense isn’t a work of art so I suppose there isn’t much he could screw up here, but he certainly isn’t going to take the Crimson Tide to the next level.

  23. minibull says: Jan 14, 2014 8:44 AM

    I despise Saban more than any coach in America (since I’m a Tennessee Vol and Miami Dolphin fan), but at this point, he doesn’t have to explain any of his moves to anyone. If he hired Oprah to be OC, as long as they continue win 11-12 games a year without getting in trouble with the NCAA, he gets to make any call he wants.

    Kiffen won’t cause him any trouble as Saban’s ego will crush any independent thoughts Kiffen might have. It will make Bama’s trip to Knoxville next year very memorable. Go Vols!

  24. tide4life says: Jan 14, 2014 2:15 PM

    Can’t honestly say this one isn’t stuck in my craw a bit. My ass is firmly puckered and it takes an effort of will not to shout Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!” at the top of my lungs. But you don’t just blunder into three crystal footballs in four years; even Auburn ain’t that lucky.
    I am sitting on my hands and working hard at trusting Darth Saban to know more about running an NCAA football team than me.
    Or any of you goobers, for that matter.

  25. doctorlb says: Jan 14, 2014 6:20 PM

    dhardy8207 says: …….

    “Point is everyone doesn’t grow up ”

    And YOU just proved it in your post.

  26. dhardy8207 says: Jan 16, 2014 9:16 AM

    tiger1990 says;

    @dhardy-
    You show how narrow minded and intolerant you are when you make statements about how anyone who supported Bush is either a teapotter or a bigot.

    —————————————————————-
    Well that’s your opinion and I would expect someone who is obviously an Auburn fan to use an example to take a shot at any tide fan posting on an Alabama matter. I never said the ONLY supporters of Bush were teapots and bigots. I did say that I expected those that are members of that party to be the ones blasting my comment.
    —————————————————————-
    doctorlb says;

    ““Point is everyone doesn’t grow up ”

    “And YOU just proved it in your post.”
    —————————————————————-
    Well pat yourself on the back there doc, great move to personally insult someone you don’t know but just had to throw your two cents in one way or another. Just know that your opinion of me means nothing ok dumpling. It shows your intelligence level to pick out one part of that post and use as a personal insult. Well congratulations big man, sure that made your day to be able to display that you can stoop to an elementary level…

  27. condor75 says: Jan 20, 2014 1:59 PM

    bralinshan says:
    Jan 13, 2014 5:28 PM
    Your WRONG. I’m not defending Kiffin because he was justly fired. But, a coach who takes over a sanctioned riddled program with severe scholarship restrictions and still manages to fill the pipeline with talent…and goes 28-15….isn’t the worst coach in the world.
    Also, Nick Saban is smarter than you are in matters pertaining to football. I’d trust him 1,000 times more than a blogger.
    It’s very easy to do the conventional pile on with Lane Kiffin. But, the guy has some ability. He wasn’t ready for a head coaching job…but, after spending a few years under Saban?
    My guess is that it’s just what he needs. And, he’ll likely be leading a program again in 4-5 years…after a great dose of leadership and humility.
    So after THREE HEAD JOBS, ONE PRO AND TWO COLLEGE, he still needs seasoning, okay whatever you say.WOW

  28. tigersfandan says: Jan 20, 2014 2:56 PM

    Lane Kiffin failed as a head coach — not as an assistant — three times after walking into three bad situations (he inherited sanctions at USC, he replaced Philip Fulmer’s somewhat messy exit at Tennessee and the Raiders are perpetually a bad situation). I believe Saban is known for keeping his assistants from too much contact with the media, so I think this can work.

  29. tnvolmichelle says: Jul 16, 2014 5:21 PM

    Cool, now Alabama has the two biggest jerks in the SEC as their coaches. Perfect.

    I believe Lame will be a perfect fit.

    He will be like the NFL… Not For Long…

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