Since the decision became public on Monday, that Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin would be handing coordinator duties over to Steve Sarkisian a few weeks early, Kiffin has maintained that he would like to see this season through and help Alabama prepare for Clemson in any way that he can.
It’s possible Kiffin will continue to break down film for the Crimson Tide (or at least claim that he is), but Alabama coach Nick Saban said he will not be involved in any capacity during the game.
“No, it’s really not even possible from a legal standpoint for him to do those things,” Saban said. “That’s not something that we’re interested in pursuing.”
As an offensive analyst Steve Sarkisian spent the season working in an advisory role to Kiffin and his familiarity with the offense, and his history working with Kiffin in the past at Southern California, should provide stability to the play calling despite the sudden change.
If Kiffin and Saban are to be believed then Alabama is basically trading Kiffin in for a newer model that does everything the previous one did, but this one now focuses all his time on the Crimson Tide where the old model split his time between Alabama and Florida Atlantic.
On Monday in an interview with Paul Finebaum, Kiffin said after re-watching the game, he was not satisfied with the offensive performance the Crimson Tide had against Washington. He said he questioned whether he gave the Huskies his best.
“Really I don’t know that for the players you can do 100 percent, you try, but then your mind’s thinking about okay I got to interview this guy later, who’s going out to dinner with you, or here’s a list of recruits you’ve got to watch at night instead of watching extra film for the opponent,” Kiffin said.
But Sarkisian’s role as an offensive analyst has its drawbacks too. He wasn’t allowed to be directly involved with the team so while he might know the players and their tendencies. They certainly don’t know his.
That couldn’t have been more evident when running back Bo Scarbrough was asked about his interactions so far with Sarkisian.
“On the sideline he always tells me to keep my helmet on and stay ready cause you never know when your number’s called,” Scarbrough said.
When put in the admittedly difficult situation of discussing the decision to change coordinators or even compare the two Scarbrough, a player that has done limited interviews this season, was a man of few words.
“We just focused on Clemson,” Scarbrough said.
Speaking of the Tigers on Tuesday, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was asked about Alabama’s abrupt decision as well.
“You’ve got some nuances that might be a little bit different maybe from a play call or something like that, but you’re not going to – it’s not like they’re going to come out and run the triple option,” said Swinney. “They’re going to dance with who brung ’em. They’re going to do what they do. It’s just as simple as that.”
If the Crimson Tide was actually sticking with the same dance partner then Kiffin would be on the sideline on Monday night. As to what those changes might be his opponent is remaining tight-lipped.
“I don’t know why you all keep asking me what changes we’re going to make,” Saban said. “Dabo is a good friend of mine; maybe I’ll just call him up and tell him what we’re going to do.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports