It was rumored that part of the reason Lane Kiffin left as Alabama’s offensive coordinator for the head job at FAU was because of an increasingly strained relationship with Nick Saban. Based on one report, Kiffin’s replacement knows the feeling quite well.
Tuesday, the stunning news dropped that Steve Sarkisian had left his post as Alabama’s coordinator to take the same job with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Not long after, a report emerged that painted the relationship between Saban and Sarkisian as less than rosy because of were described as disagreements in “system philosophy.”
Multiple sources have confirmed to SB Nation that after meetings with Alabama head coach Nick Saban following the Championship, the relationship between Saban and Sarkisian deteriorated amid disagreements in “system philosophy,” per one source. Both parties planned to move on following Signing Day last Wednesday, and Saban was aware of Sarkisian’s contact with the Falcons.
One source described the problems between Sarkisian and Saban as “too similar” to the relationship between Saban and former coordinator Kiffin.
“There was an effort on Saban’s part not to repeat the same problem. This wasn’t going to work out,” a source close to Sarkisian told SB Nation.
That’s the past, of course, and Saban has already no doubt looked to the future when it comes to a replacement. Mike Locksley, named co-coordinator last month, is certainly one in-house candidate, although other names have emerged as well.
Names I’m told could get consideration for #Alabama OC: Mark Helfrich, Chip Kelly & George Godsey who is tight with OL coach Brent Key.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 7, 2017