The week leading up to Saturday’s Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban meeting as coaches would not have been complete without Kiffin making headlines with a friendly jab at Saban.
It happened on Wednesday morning when Kiffin appeared on the Dan Patrick radio show and joked about Saban, who turns 69 this month, not being able to cover him if Saturday’s game was in fact Kiffin against Saban on field.
“I was telling someone the other day, I’m really worried about Coach. He’s old now, ”Kiffin said.
Saban was asked about the comment at the end of his video conference Wednesday night.
“I think he’s probably right. I wouldn’t disagree with him. I guess what I would ask is when he’s my age, what is he going to do? »Said Saban laughing as he finished the question.
“I don’t know, it’s a bit of a disadvantage being my age and having had hip replacement surgery, but I’m still proud of my ability to cover. I just don’t think I can cover it. “
Earlier in the press conference, Saban said he “can’t really speculate” how Kiffin has improved as a coach since leaving Alabama almost four years ago, but praised her performance at Florida Atlantic and now Ole Miss.
“I think he did a really good job,” Saban said. “I made a statement that I always thought Lane would be a very, very good head coach and I think he has been since then. So I know I haven’t been around him, aight, to find out exactly – but the on-field product that he’s showcased has been pretty good over the last couple of years he’s been a head coach and so far this year they have played extremely well.
Saban offered similar praise during his SEC coaching conference call earlier Wednesday.
“We’ve always had a lot of respect for Lane,” he said. “He’s a great coach. He is a very good offensive player. He has a good feel for the game, really understands what the defense is trying to do and how to profit from it.
Mike Rodak is an Alabama Beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on twitter @mikerodak.