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Amid Insider’s Revelation About Kirby Smart’s Opinion on Alabama, AD Assesses Kalen DeBoer’s First Month

Published 02/17/2024, 1:35 PM EST

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“Kirby Smart doesn’t think too much about Alabama. Really, the October 19 game at Texas is the big headache.” Journalist Mike Griffith believes that, for the Georgia Bulldogs and HC Kirby Smart, the once-great Alabama isn’t what it used to be. Now, more so than ever, after Kalen DeBoer stepped in from Washington, hoping to carry on the team’s rich legacy. The only issue was that he took charge after Nick Saban, who left behind a huge pair of shoes to fill.

Nick Saban’s retirement shocked the entire world of college football. The 72-year-old was one of the best coaches the sport has seen, with an unbelievable legacy at Alabama. Now that he’s left and Kalen DeBoer has taken over, there have been skeptical questions. And Kirby Smart’s reported feelings didn’t help DeBoer’s case. But turns out, these words didn’t stick right with Alabama AD Greg Byrne, who wasted no time in looking out for the new HC.

Greg Byrne voices his strong defense for the new Alabama coach, Kalen DeBoer

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Kalen DeBoer has the support of Greg Byrne as he takes on the newest challenge of being the Alabama coach. Despite being doubted by many, he is giving his all to get to know the team better. And live up to the legacy of the legendary Nick Saban. Now that his credibility is being put to the test, Byrne revealed how DeBoer has “extremely impressed” him.

In an interview on Tide 100.9, Byrne said, “Sometimes in today’s world, we all want instant answers and responses, but in reality, he’s very thoughtful. I can tell, in how he’s approaching the staff, how he’s approaching just managing the roster and connecting with the kids. I can tell you that he has done very well. We’re pleased about that.” Following in the footsteps of Saban is undoubtedly a tough act to follow. DeBoer knows that, and Byrne knows that. Considering that, he acknowledged all that the new HC has already done.

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He added, “To go from Coach Saban and what he means to our university and college football and everything else between today, this is a really challenging transition. But I’ve been extremely impressed with his approach from the second he’s gotten here and embracing our culture at Alabama, embracing Coach Saban.” After taking over from the legendary coach, Kalen DeBoer himself opened up about embracing Saban’s culture by actively taking advice from him.

In an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, DeBoer said, “I’d be pretty foolish if I didn’t lean on [Saban] and have a door open for him. [I’ve reached out to him] for advice pretty frequently, especially in the first week.” As Alabama gets ready to kick off the season, Greg Byrne revealed his excitement to watch this new setup unfold. He believes that despite the challenges that await DeBoer, he’s ready for them. That being said, here’s a look at what Greg Byrne looks for in a coach.

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What does Byrne look for when trying to sign a coach?

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During his time with Alabama, Greg Byrne has played a crucial role in making the squad as strong as possible. He was the one responsible for looking for Nick Saban’s replacement and ultimately landed on Kalen DeBoer. This is what he had to say about his decision-making process.

One of the things, you know, I’m in my 17th year now being an AD. I haven’t batted 1,000 hiring coaches, but I’ve been fortunate to hire a few good ones here and there. The one thing that all of them have in common [is that] those who have success are very smart.” That was one of the aspects that Byrne saw in DeBoer since the get-go.

“Coach DeBoer, I can tell already, is really smart. He’s very thoughtful. You know, sometimes in today’s world, we all want instant answers and responses, but in reality, he’s very thoughtful already.” There’s no doubt that fans will look to Kalen DeBoer with keen interest as he tries to prove himself against the Saban name.

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Will DeBoer be able to live up to the hype of Nick Saban? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

After Exposing Alabama’s Mess in Post Nick Saban Era, Mike Griffith Unveils Kirby Smart’s Insulting Opinion About Crimson Tide

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Written by:

Jeevesh Singh

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Jeevesh Singh is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports.With a passion for the game's intricacies, his work focuses on the lives of NFL legends like Brady and Coach Prime, offering unique insights into their personalities and achievements. His writing style is characterized by a blend of analytical prowess and storytelling, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the NFL's most compelling narratives.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav