One thing about Nick Saban: He believes in second chances.

Saban often goes to bat for players who get in trouble. He evidently feels the same way about coaches.

After Lane Kiffin revived his coaching image as Alabama’s offensive coordinator under Saban to land a head coaching job at Florida Atlantic, Saban is now giving a second chance to his new offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian.

RELATED: Sarkisian ‘humbled and honored’ to be Bama OC

Like Kiffin, Sarkisian is a former USC head coach. In fact, he replaced Kiffin after he was fired in the middle of the 2013 season (with an interim stint by current LSU coach Ed Orgeron in between). But the circumstances  of their departures were different. Where Kiffin was losing on the field and rankled administrators and fans with what was perceived as arrogance, Sarkisian was fired for issues related to alcoholism.

He was fired after five games in 2015 at USC and came to Alabama early this season as an offensive analyst. It appears Saban has been impressed by both the job he did as an analyst and by the way he has handled his sobriety.

He’s going through some personal things himself to get himself in a very positive position and wants to continue to do those things in the future,” Saban said when he brought Sarkisian aboard on Sept. 5. “Professionally, he loves coaching. So we thought it would be a good thing for our organization to have somebody — look, I’ve known him for a long time and he’s a very, very good coach — to make a contribution to being an analyst here and having some input into some things that we could do better, I think, would be a real positive for our organization.”

On Friday, there was no mention of his off-field problems in Alabama’s press release, with Saban quoted as saying: “He has been a great asset to our coaching staff this season and brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to his job. Steve will be a phenomenal addition to our coaching staff and someone who can seamlessly transition into the job with a full understanding of how our organization works.”

While the hiring of Sarkisian reflects Saban’s attitude about second chances, it also reflects the likely continued trend in the direction of a more versatile offense. In his one full year at USC, Sarkisian’s team averaged 35.8 points and 458 yards per game while playing an offensive style that took the fast-paced style he used at his first head coaching stop, Washington, and combined it with USC’s traditional pro-style, West Coast power game.

Oct 8, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian accompanies players onto the field before the game against the Washington Huskies at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The result was a team that ran the ball just a little more than it threw it and had both a prolific passer in Cody Kessler (3,826 yards) and a workhorse rusher in Javorius Allen (1,489 yards while averaging over 20 carries a game). USC did it in 78 plays a game, 25th in the nation and five more plays per game than Alabama averages this year.

That was a bit of a departure from his days at his previous stop at Washington, where he engineered high-powered offenses led by quarterbacks Jake Locker and Keith Price. Those teams would run more than 80 plays per game and could be categorized as more purely “spread” teams.

The point is this: It’s not as though you can make a simple blanket statement that Alabama’s new coach is a spread guy or a conventional guy. Going from Washington to USC, you saw Sarkisian going to a hybrid approach. It was power running with a big-armed quarterback. But it was at a faster pace with more plays to stress the defense.

Could that be where Alabama goes?

The pieces at Alabama are considerably different from what he had at Washington or USC. The guess here is, Sarkisian will evolve with the personnel again, with perhaps a little nudge from Saban.

With Jalen Hurts back at quarterback, with the Tide’s continued recruiting of talent at receiver and running back, there’s no reason to thing that the approach from Sarkisian wouldn’t be another evolutionary step. Use the talented running backs. And use Hurts, but maybe not in the same way he used Kessler.

As a head coach, Sarkisian never had a running quarterback as dynamic as Hurts — Locker could run some, but not in the same class at Hurts — so it’ll be interesting to see what direction.

He offers Sarkisian a chance to tweak his reputation as a play caller.

Even as Sarkisian tries to completely rehabilitate his image as a coach.