TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts offered up a noticeable difference between Lane Kiffin and Alabama’s new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll.
He said Kiffin is 6-foot-4 and Daboll is “around 5-9.”
Laughter ensued, but the differences don’t stop there.
When asked how Kiffin’s and Daboll’s personalities differ, guard Ross Pierschbacher first complimented the man who helped the Crimson Tide’s offense catch up with today’s offensive schemes and strategies.
“Coach Kiffin was a great coach,” Pierschbacher said.
“Coach Daboll is very down to business,” Pierschbacher continued after a pause. “Coming from the (New England) Patriots, I think Coach (Bill) Belichick runs a tight ship there just like Coach (Nick) Saban does. So I think it meshes pretty well.”
Down to business. Tight ship. Meshes pretty well with Saban.
In the three seasons Kiffin called plays at Alabama, I never heard his name in the same sentence with “down to business,” “mesh” and “Saban.” Kiffin was looser, not as disciplined and often drove Saban nuts.
The players loved Kiffin’s creativity, liked his personality, but Daboll has come in and made a strong early impression.
“Everyone really enjoys Coach Daboll and just his system,” Pierschbacher said. “He just seems very organized. I think the players respond to that, especially the young guys. He’s a demanding guy, but we get results. So I think that practice runs smoother. It’s just been good.”
Very organized. Demanding. Practice runs smoother. Is it me, or do you get the impression that wasn’t the case with Kiffin?
Pierschbacher also may have let the cat out the bag when saying the younger guys are trying to learn this “new offense.” He quickly corrected himself and said it’s not a new offense.
We’ll find out September 2 in Atlanta if there is anything “new” about Alabama’s offense under Daboll.
For all of Kiffin’s faults, he not only called great plays, but Alabama lost just four games in his three seasons – with five starting quarterbacks.
Kiffin turned Blake Sims and Jake Coker, two career backups, into top SEC quarterbacks and played a key role in helping Hurts have a special season as a true freshman.
So all is well with Daboll right now, but games haven’t been played yet. By midseason, let’s see if he’s still meshing with Saban and if everything is still running smoother than when Kiffin was in Tuscaloosa.
(You can follow Duane Rankin on Twitter @DuaneRankin)
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