On Thursday, Alabama coach Nick Saban admitted that the coaching staff “protected” QB Jalen Hurts during his freshman season, and it hampered his development, especially late in the season.
“I think we protected him a little bit last year and it might have… it didn’t enhance his development,” Saban said in a radio interview. “Sometimes later in the year, when people played us in a way that he needed to be able to throw the ball, we may not have been as efficient as we would have liked him to been.”
The comments did not go over well with former UA offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
.@Lane_Kiffin: "Did we protect Hurts? I don't know. Last time I checked the job was to win games. He was SEC offensive player of the year."
— Opening Drive (@openingdrive) April 21, 2017
When Hurts was asked for his thought on the comments by Alabama media members, he indicated that he’s not concerned about what happened last season.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Hurts told reporters. “I’m not going to say what I could’ve done, what I couldn’t have done. Everything happens for a reason. It’s a new year now.”
Saban has said that this spring, the coaches are focusing on Hurts’ improvement as a passer. The second-year signal-caller says he feels more comfortable as a drop-back passer, which he’ll be asked to do more of in Brian Daboll’s system.
“I think with the maturity part of it, and experience, you’re going to naturally be more comfortable at everything you do,” Hurts said.
Alabama fans will get a chance to see how Hurts looks in Daboll’s offense on Saturday during the Crimson Tide’s A-Day spring scrimmage.