After an assumption from Lane Kiffin which ignited speculation from the media, Nick Saban set the record straight regarding Alabama’s defensive coordinator on Monday.
Kiffin shared that his staff believed that Alabama had made a switch from Kevin Steele to Travaris Robinson for the defensive playcalling. But Saban made it clear that Steele was still in charge of the Crimson Tide’s defense.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the same reports of if Kevin Steele is the defensive coordinator,” Saban said. “He has all the defensive coordinator responsibilities. The only thing we tried to improve from an administrative standpoint was game day administration of getting signals in quicker. That was the only thing we worked on as a staff, and the whole staff made a contribution to it.”
Kiffin raised questions regarding Alabama’s defensive play-caller following the Crimson Tide’s 17-3 win over USF.
“There seems that there’s been a change there. I don’t know what happened after the Texas game, but our guys watching the TV copy and schematically in this last game, certainly seems like T-Rob’s now calling the defense,” Kiffen said. “We played him before at South Carolina, so we’re preparing accordingly for him calling the defense. He’s done a good job too, and they’ve got really good players.”
The Rebels head coach later shared that he didn’t intend to cause a stir with his assumption.
“I was asked the question what it was like going against Steele’s defense,” Kiffin said according to the Clarion Ledger. “I wasn’t really trying to start this big thing. We saw things on TV copy just where it was different, first off with the playbook, the calls and stuff. We looked into that further. It ain’t no secret: People in these buildings know each other. We got some information that way too.
“It is what it is kind of like the quarterbacks. You prepare for a different quarterback and prepare for a different playcaller. I’m not sure whatever transpired after Texas, but we’re going to have our hands full no matter what.”
Alabama will begin conference play on Saturday against Ole Miss at 2:30 p.m. CT inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77