Blake Sims and Ryan Kelly On Lane Kiffin and Tide’s Offense


Blake Sims and Ryan Kelly were made available on Monday for an SEC Teleconference call as they begin to prepare for the SEC Championship to take on the Missouri Tigers on Saturday.

It’s no secret that the Tide have sped up the offense this season as opposed to seasons in the past. When offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin came in, it was one of the changes he made.

“I think that’s one of the biggest things that Coach Kiffin has brought to our offense. Any time you can get up to the ball and get set a little bit faster, it gives the quarterback more options to check out of things if he doesn’t like what he sees on defense or- and it forces the defense you’re going against to play more basic fronts and doesn’t give them a lot of time to check out of things that they can see as well”, Ryan Kelly said during the teleconference.

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What was Blake Sims’ first impression of Kiffin? He knew he came in to make the Tide even better than they were. “My first impression of him was a guy that was ready to come and make Alabama the best team in the nation. He’s got a great personality with everybody, and he got along with everybody and had to do what he had to do. He’s been doing a great job coaching. He’s on top of it and making sure I go in the game very prepared and making sure I always know that I got to do what I’ve got to do”, Sims said.

Oct 25, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin talks to wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) during the first quarter against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly also noted that when the team started applying the changes, it was a sort of a challenge for them since they were used to the more traditional style offense. When the Tide gets to the line in a hurry, the defenses are left susceptible and in their base defense so they are more likely to be caught off guard. “Now it’s get to your spots as fast as possible so we can give Blake more time. If he sees the look he likes, we’ll just go ahead and run it, and it kind of pauses the defense a little bit”, Kelly said.

Nov 15, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Ryan Kelly (70) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

There was no shortage of doubters that Coach Nick Saban had made the wrong hire when he hired Kiffin to handle the offense but with the improvement in production, it’s easy to see that Saban knows what he is doing. “A lot of people didn’t expect us to do good in Coach Kiffin’s offense, knowing that it’s the first year that he’s been here, and he’s done a great job coaching us and just knowing what we need to do in the game”, Sims said.

When the SEC Championship game kicks off, the Tide will see a team that they haven’t seen since 2012. That doesn’t mean they aren’t ready for it. Being able to beat both up tempo offenses as well as a having a win in a shoot-out in the Iron Bowl will have them ready.

“It (Iron Bowl) was very big for us. We were just happy as a team to be able to do what we did, and we overcame adversity, and we became as a team when we were down, and we praised each other when we did right:, Sims said.

Kelly added, “The coaches provided us a great game plan, but it was up to us to do it. At no point did you see the team down or anything like that. It was just this is what we’ve been taught to do. This is what we work for. We’ve just got to go out there and do it, and in the second half, we did that.”