Written by Alex Scarborough at ESPN
Be careful not to make any assumptions about Alabama’s offense now that Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian have departed.
If you’re determined to make an educated guess about its direction under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, don’t do it around Nick Saban.
The Crimson Tide’s head coach was in midseason form at the start of spring practice on Tuesday when he went on a rant following a reporter’s question about whether the hiring of Daboll signaled a shift in philosophy to a more “ball-control” offense. Saban repeatedly questioned the premise of the question, shot down the idea that Alabama lost to Clemson in the national championship game because of a 9-minute deficit in time of possession and, at one point, he even went on a tangent about a new NCAA rule he said will prohibit high school coaches from bringing players to summer camps and instead allow “some third party guy” to do it.
Saban’s hard left turn into recruiting aside, it was clear he didn’t appreciate even the notion that Alabama’s offense would change.
“I don’t know where you came up with, we’re going to ball control,” he said. “That’s not what we do. I mean, the New England Patriots threw the ball over 60 percent of the time, which was more than we threw it. So where does that assumption come from? Or do you do what everybody else in the media does and just create some s— and throw it on the wall and see what sticks, which is what I see happening everywhere?”
Mind you, this isn’t a new stance from Saban toward the media. Whether it was the transition from Jim McElwain to Doug Nussmeier or Nussmeier to Kiffin, Saban has never been particularly forthcoming when it comes to changes being made on offense. He repeatedly rebuked the idea that Kiffin brought that spread to Tuscaloosa (it was his idea, he’d say) and emphasized instead that the fundamentals of the offense were never altered, only certain formations and the overall tempo.
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