Lane Kiffin, Jalen Hurts respond to Nick Saban’s ‘protected’ comments

Dec 31, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin talks with quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) during the third quarter in the 2016 CFP semifinal against the Washington Huskies at the Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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  • All you need to know about this is the way Clemson played defense vs Hurts, it was clear they had no respect for the bama passing game.