Kiffin again concerns who called Tide’s defense

  • Alex Scarborough, ESPN

    • Personnel WriterSep 18, 2023, 02:42 PM ET Close Covers the SEC.Joined ESPN
    • in 2012.
    • Graduate of Auburn University.Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin doubled

    down on his accusation that Alabama protective coordinator Kevin Steele wasn’t calling plays for the Crimson Tide during their 17-3 win over South Florida last Saturday.Kiffin told press reporters Monday that he wasn’t attempting to make waves when he said Sunday that it appeared that protective backs coach Travaris Robinson had taken over playcalling responsibilities after Alabama’s loss to Texas– something Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban had not announced.Ole Miss travels to play Alabama on Saturday.Editor’s Picks

    1 Associated “I was asked the concern, ‘What’s it like going against Steele’s defense?’ I wasn’t trying to start this big thing,” Kiffin stated. “We saw things on TV copy simply where it was various. First of all, of what the play appeared like– the calls and things. Therefore we checked out that further. And then it ain’t clear that people in these buildings know each other, so we undoubtedly got some information that way, too.”

    Unprompted, Alabama coach Nick Saban refuted that suggestion throughout his Monday news conference.

    “On this other thing I hear floating around out there– I make sure you’ve seen the same reports that I have actually seen– is that Kevin Steele is the defensive coordinator,” Saban stated. “He has all the protective planner responsibilities. The only thing that we tried to improve from an administrative viewpoint was game day administration of getting the signals in quicker, alright? So that was the only thing we dealt with as a personnel, and the whole staff made a contribution to it and I think it was a lot much better in this game [versus USF] than it was in the Texas game.”

    Alabama, which lost to Texas 34-24, rebounded defensively to beat USF 17-3.

    Steele, 65, is on his third stint working for Saban at Alabama. He originally joined the personnel throughout Saban’s very first year in 2007 as protective coordinator.Steele, who coached linebackers at Alabama during Kiffin’s time as offending planner in 2014, returned as protective planner this offseason after holding in the exact same position at LSU, Auburn, and Miami.On Monday, Kiffin restated his appreciation for Saban employing him on the heels of his shooting as head coach at USC.”People provide people opportunities all the time,”Kiffin said.

    “However the important things I learned from him defensively, things I learned from him organizationally– discipline. I’m extremely grateful to him. He truly helped him at a truly tough time in my life. “Saban said that Ole Miss is an excellent group and”Lane has done a good task with the

    program.”” This is among the very best offensive teams in the country in regards to the important things they do,

    the multiples they have,”he said.He later on added,”We’re going to need to play our best and we need to enhance to be able to do that.”

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