Kevin Steele

Alabama shuffles coaching staff (again) as secondary coach resigns


Alabama secondary coach Greg Brown has stepped down from his position on Nick Saban‘s coaching staff after just one season in Tuscaloosa. Saban’s staff will also see director of personnel Kevin Steele receive a promotion to the on-field staff, filling in as linebackers coach.

According to a report by, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will shift his responsibilities to make rom for Steele on the coaching staff. Smart had been coaching the linebackers under the role of defensive coordinator. With Brown’s resignation, Smart will switch to coaching the defensive backs to allow a position to open or Steele to coach the linebackers. According to, Steele had turned down an offer to join Bobby Petrino‘s new coaching staff at Louisville to be the defensive coordinator. For Steele, a chance to coach under Saban in a lesser role may have been more attractive or rewarding that moving to a new program to take on such a large responsibility. Steele has on-field coaching experience, including stints at Clemson and Alabama, so his return to the field is not a shock given the opportunity available.

This has been a busy offseason for Alabama’s coaching staff. Michigan hired away offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier for the same job. That led Alabama to hire former USC and Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin to serve as offensive coordinator under Saban. Alabama also flipped defensive line coach Bo Davis shortly after being added to the new coaching staff at USC.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.