A new era is beginning in Alabama with Lane Kiffin now in charge of the Crimson Tide offense. The former USC and Tennessee head coach took over the role of offensive coordinator this offseason and has slowly integrated his system in Tuscaloosa.
Apparently much of that system will revolve around an immensely talented backfield. Kiffin spoke about how the process has gone thus far, via Mike Herndon of AL.com:
"As you guys know extremely well, I think the offense is led by the tailbacks," Kiffin said. "There probably aren't three more talented tailbacks in the NFL on a roster than we're fortunate to be able to work with at Alabama."
That trio includes T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake, along with a healthy dose of Derrick Henry. While Yeldon comes into the season as the bell cow for Kiffin's offense, the junior clearly won't be the only player fighting for snaps during the 2014 season.
But are the three better than the top-three backs of NFL teams? Ben Maller of Fox Sports Radio gives his thoughts on a former NFL team that Kiffin coached:
Lane Kiffin thinks Alabama's RB trio is 'probably' more talented than any in entire NFL, this explains 5-15 (.250) record with Raiders— Ben Maller (@benmaller) May 30, 2014
If all three backs are able to produce during the upcoming season with a good share of the touches, Kiffin might be able to see all three live up to his hype. After losing a two-time National Championship-winning quarterback in AJ McCarron to the NFL, leaning on such a talented trio might be the perfect fix for their loss behind center.
After a stable of backs like Eddie Lacy, Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson have made their impact in the SEC, Yeldon and company might just make a dent of their own this season.
With the three-headed monster that Kiffin believes he has in Tuscaloosa, this might be yet another championship season for the Tide. But if his expectations for the three backs fall short—which we've seen happen multiple times to Kiffin—the 39-year-old coach might have his name on the hot seat early in his career.
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