Julio Jones: Kiffin’s departure is ‘small thing’ for Saban, Alabama

Former Alabama star Julio Jones, now of all the Falcons, said losing offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is a "small thing" for coach Nick Saban. (Marvin Gentry / USA Today Sports)

Former Alabama star Julio Jones, now of all the Falcons, said losing offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is a “small thing” for coach Nick Saban. (Marvin Gentry / USA Today Sports)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Before you make too much of Alabama changing offensive coordinators before its biggest game of the season, you might want to consider this analysis from one of the greatest offensive players in the program’s history.

“Small thing,” Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones says of Lane Kiffin’s departure.

He said it as if he was flicking a bug off his shirt.

Alabama will have a new offensive coordinator before the national championship game against Clemson. This came about after Saban announced this week that the decision to let Kiffin move on to his next job as Florida Atlantic’s head coach was a “mutual decision” between the two. It’s widely believed that tensions between the two coaches, who have diametric personalities, had become too big of an issue and then the Tide struggled offensively in the playoff semifinal win over Washington.

Will this impact Alabama?

“No. Naw. Not at all. That’s a small thing,” Jones said.

How can he term a change at offensive coordinator and the team’s primary play-caller a small thing?

“It don’t matter. They’re going to run the same plays anyway.”

Jones, a native of Foley, Alabama, played for Saban and the Tide for three seasons (2008-10), winning the national championship in 2009.

Jones smiled when asked about the split.

“He’s the head honcho,” he said of Saban.

“It’s defense, man. Coach Saban is a defensive-minded coach. But they have some explosive guys on the offensive side of the ball too.”

He said Kiffin’s departure won’t affect players because, “At this time of the year, coach Saban will have his guys ready to go. Things happen. It don’t matter what happens. OK, so it happened. Let’s get past it. That’s the way he is there.”

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4 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

Kiffen leaving is somewhat of a big thing. It's a distraction and Saban doesn't like distractions. If Alabama loses, and they definitely could lose, the OC leaving won't be the reason. If the Tide plays with an attitude and conviction they will win, but it's going to be a 15 round fight with knockdowns during the fight. Clemson has the knockdown punch with Watson but Alabama has the grit to come back. If either team gets down by 10 or more, the comeback will be difficult with the advantage to do goes to Clemson. It could by the greatest playoff game ever played.....or it could be a total bust like so many big games that are over hyped by the media.

ChessMaster
ChessMaster

Next man up. This may even be an advantage as Clemson won't be able to analyze the coordinator's play calling. They be less predictable.

Richard Weiener
Richard Weiener

Did he even go to effing class? Or just skipped English class?

Mulk
Mulk

So, he never played for Kiffen but we sought out his opinion???