Nick, it's Good "Football Sense" to Hire Chip Kelly
I Admit it
I am not a liar. I purposely placed (the above) photo of a baby duckling as my lead photo and this was, I suppose, considered sneaky, cheap, and well, sneaky and cheap to do this. But my intentions were of the purest reason: I wanted to instantly capture the attention of all females (hold it. This is not gender profiling) who everyone knows, loves baby ducks, cats, dogs, even giraffes.
And why shouldn't I resort to trickery to get the ladies' attention? I am not hiding the fact that I am nowhere near the sports-based writers who are members of HubPages. I am not about to start exposing my inept sports writing ability now. To make another point, most women in 2017 actually love football. Again, I am not gender profiling.
You have to admit that the (above photo) is cute and is of a duckling. You cannot argue with me about these two points.
to the pressing issue. If you are a fan of The University of Alabama's high-performance football team, The Crimson Tide, you already know that their once-offensive coordinator, Lane Kiffin, left somewhat abruptly after The Tide defeated The Washington Huskies in the first round of the NCAA Football Playoff games. True Bama followers will recall that in the first series of downs of that game, The Crimson Tide started out sluggish and stumbled a few times--both incidents are direct insults to head coach, Nick Saban.
Enter Steve Karisian, who was hired last September to be Saban's Offensive Analyst. What does this job entail? Simply put, having another set of trained eyes on The Tide offense in and out of games. That is according to Saban who some, and certainly not all, would think is insecure to the point of trying to have "all of his bases" covered. Or in this case, "coaches covered."
If there was something that Kiffin was missing, "Sark," (as he was nick-named), was expected to catch the error, miscue or down-right ignorance by a player or position coach in keeping The Tide in a refined state. Nick Saban, recruiting guru (led Alabama with the seventh straight number one recruiting class in February), defensive mastermind, success is his first cousin, does not take chances. For Saban to flip a coin except to toss it to a buddy to get himself an hour on his parking meter, is like blasphemy.
So now with The Tide losing by four points to Clemson in the Big Dance (National Title Game) thanks again to "Sark" whose play-calling duties could have been handled by yours truly and a good friend. He was just that predictable. Being predictable is great if you are a married person--never giving your companion any reason to distrust you, but if you are an offensive coordinator, especially for The Crimson Tide, and are so predictable that the opposing defensive coordinator sends three of his assistants home when the game starts, you are in a deep mudhole in Georgia, my friend.
Many who follow college and professional football, can recognize the many similarities between Bill Bilicheck, head coach of The New England Patriots and Nick Saban, head coach of The University of Alabama football program.
And the similarities between these two football minds are similar due to the fact that Saban and Bilicheck are good friends. And once worked together as defensive coaches with The Cleveland Browns.
Bilicheck is an "addict to details." So is Saban. From where to he parks his car and how long to leave it parked at that one place when he is at work and how long that they take to have lunch, both Bilicheck and Saban are pretty much made from the same material.
So now With
recruiting over and it's on to player evaluation by Saban and his staff, Sarkisian up and leaves The Tide for the same position with the Atlanta Falcons who are just nursing a heartbreaking loss to Bill Bilicheck's always-winning New England Patriots in the latest Super Bowl. "Sark?" Why?
I am glad that I asked myself that question. I have learned when you are a Crimson Tide football fan, you have to be connected with (a) "Tide Network" that exists in each hamlet of the mid-south where Alabama football is more than a sport, but a living, breathing organism, and my "Tide Network" connection was quick to inform me that Sarkisian's departure was no surprise to him for his people for the hushed whispers on the street said that the marriage between Saban and "Sark" had begin to deteriorate weeks before the Bama-Clemson Title Game.
"Saban and Sarkisisan's varied philosophies were the root of him (Sarkisian) leaving," my inside source informed. I understand this completely. Nick Saban (don't be fooled by his cool, always-in-shape image) "is" the boss when it comes to The Crimson Tide football program. Let me boil this down. Let's say that you have a boss, strong-willed, successful, who puts two people in charge of building a structure. Both employees are skilled carpenters and one does not drive nails like the other carpenter. The house gets built and looks fantastic, but the boss' gets upset with the rogue carpenter whose nail-driving was not to his specs, and soon heated words are exchanged. The next door to open in this frayed relationship is the rogue carpenter bidding farewell to the building crew. Understand?
It's a matter of
of Saban's underlings having that smallest of character flaws as to not be able to get along with Saban? And I mean total obedience to Saban's thinking and football philosophies? Speaking purey as an amateur outsider, no. True, all successful men and women have those trivial differences on the job, even the fabled Paul "Bear" Bryant, the coach that is credited for building the University of Alabama's football program had disagreements with his position coaches, but in Bryant's tenure as Bama head coach, there was not as much press given to his "tender" areas as there is with Nick Saban.
The Crimson Tide fans or in better terms, "Bama Nation," is spoiled. Year after year Bama plays in Atlanta against the representative from the east division for the SEC Title. I understand this concept although I came up with it. I don't like it, but I understand it.
If you are an Alabama Crimson Tide fan, should Chip Kelly be hired as the next offensive coordinator?
So What's Saban
to do? Obviously he cannot put off hiring Sarkisian's replacement due to the urgency of getting the new offensive coordinator in place, getting the players to understand his offensive philosophy in time for the 2017 football season where The Tide is already ranked as the number one favorite to return to the National Title game. A lot of work is to be done by Saban right here. Right now.
This is why I feel, again in my capacity as an amateur outsider to Saban's "football machine," that he must make the new offensive coordinator fit the tools on hand meaning the returning Tide players and those four and five-star recruits who have signed four years of their life to the University of Alabama in hopes to be playing on another National Championship team.
I also feel that if Saban is wise, which he is, he will offer the job to his friend, Chip Kelly who was the head coach of the powerful and almost invincible Oregon Ducks who were able to score as high as 40 plus points in each game Kelly coached. He is the offensive coordinator for the job at Alabama. That is for sure.
Kelly fits what Saban tried to get his two previous offensive coordinators, Lane Kiffin and now Steve Sarkisian to execute: a light-speed tempo that gives opposing defenses little or no time to catch their breath before this highly-oiled offense strikes again for another touchdown.
Reports have it that Kelly was seen on the campus at The University of Alabama a few weeks before the National Title Game and it was as Saban remarked, "Kelly is a friend of mine and was in the area and stopped by to pay me a visit." Yeah. And I am Donald Trump's hairdresser.
From reading the list of other candidates to replace Sarkisian, there is no "fire" among them. No visible change to be seen by way of successful offensive play-calling. If I were in Nick Saban's shoes I would do the obvious and hire Kelly for my offensive coordinator.
Kelly, a sharp football mind, would not have to be conditioned that long by Nick Saban for the job at hand and that job is and always will be for The Crimson Tide football program to be solidified at the very top of the college football world.
Common sense is one thing and that is a marvelous gift to have. And then there is "footbal sense." Saban, again according to my connection to the "Tide Network" has a sharp gift to instantly read people who are in his employment to know whether or not they will be an asset or danger to the powerful Tide football program that now has recruits from every point in the United States.
Which of the two senses will Saban use? I am not going to procrastanate. Hire Chip Kelly and forget about what the press will or will not say.
That includes me.
Good night, Juneau, Alaska.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery