Former Alabama DB Dre Kirkpatrick critical of Nick Saban heading into 2017
Nick Saban is widely regarded as the top coach in all of college football, but Cincinnati defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick believes Saban may have slipped a little at the end of 2016.
During a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show, the former standout Crimson Tide DB also believes Saban’s mentality has changed since he first arrived at Alabama.
“When he first got there, he was on the desperate end of the stick,” said Kirkpatrick on the show. “Now he’s on the backburner end of the stick. He’s kind of got the program set the way he wants it to be set.”
When asked about a prediction for the Crimson Tide’s upcoming season, the former standout Alabama defensive back was noncommittal.
“They’re definitely going to play hard,” Kirkpatrick said, “but at the end of the day, I seen (Saban) get outcoached. I’ve never seen that. I feel like he got outcoached in the Clemson game and, so I just don’t know. I’ve just got to see.”
Risen then asked Kirkpatrick how Alabama got outcoached against Clemson.
“When you got guys coming down in the switch-release on the goal line, two touchdowns back-to-back, at the end of the day, you’ve got to check that on the sideline after the first mistake,” Kirkpatrick answered. “But it’s on the players also but it falls on the coach — that’s why I say he got outcoached.”
Kirkpatrick certainly has plenty of firsthand experience after appearing in 38 games over three seasons with the Crimson Tide. He collected 91 total tackles and three interceptions while helping lead the Tide to two BCS National Championships.
Still, it is uncommon to see a former player share such criticism of Saban. Here’s a video of Kirkpatrick’s interview with Eisen.
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) August 7, 2017