Coach Nick Saban On Lane Kiffin, Lance Thompson, And Kevin Steele


Coach Nick Saban was in attendance at Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, AL on Tuesday and took a few moments to address the media that was there.

He spoke about the departures of Kevin Steele and Lance Thompson as well as the rumors surrounding Lane Kiffin and his interest in the offensive coordinator job with the San Francisco 49ers.

Saban said that with all of the recruiting going on, the staff hasn’t really had time to concentrate on replacements just yet.

When asked about Kevin Steele, who left to take the defensive coordinator job at LSU, Saban had glowing remarks. “Coach Steele really does a great job as a teacher, really does a good job with the players. I think he relates well with the players”, Saban said according to BamaOnline. “He’s got a wealth of knowledge and experience in several different schemes and systems. He did a fantastic job for us, both as a coach, a teacher and a recruiter and was very, very professional in everything he does. He certainly handled this situation and this opportunity in a first-class way, and we certainly appreciate the great job that he did for us.”

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On the departure of Lance Thompson to Auburn, there seemed to be a different vibe. It was reported by several of the pay sites that Thompson was urged to look around but it sounds like there could be more to the story. “We’ve had several opportunities and given Lance several opportunities through the years and this same circumstance has occurred several times before. I can’t really tell you why coaches do what they do, and I think the best thing you can do is ask him, not me. We’ll do the best we can to find the best replacement for him. They guy did a good job for us when he was with us and we wish him well. We’ve always wished him well.

It was reported a few days ago by ESPN that offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was one of the front-runners to get the same position with the 49ers. Kiffin has been out recruiting for the Tide since the dead period ended. Coach Saban described him as being “committed to us right now”.

“All of our coaches at this time of year have opportunities. I think guys work hard so that they can get opportunities. So if there are better opportunities that serve them better professionally we are very supportive of our guys getting promotions”, Saban said. “Doing those types of things, I can’t say that right now because I know Lane is committed to us right now and he is doing the best he can to help us recruit and do the things that we need to do to have a better team next year. We are hopeful that that will continue.”