Dre Kirkpatrick wants nothing to do with a prediction for the Alabama football season. At least not yet.
And in the process of conveying that during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show on Monday, he offered some pretty fascinating critiques of Nick Saban in the process.
Eisen asked Kirkpatrick to call his shot on Alabama’s season, and the response was not what the longtime NFL Network personality expected.
“I don’t like to do early predictions,” said Kirkpatrick, who was a first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2012 NFL Draft. “Because I don’t get to see those guys as much as I used to.
“They are definitely going to play hard, but at the end of the day I [saw] them get out-coached. I’ve never seen that. I feel like [Saban] got out-coached at the Clemson game. So I just don’t know. I’ve just gotta see.”
Wait, what? A former Crimson Tide player saying that Saban was the reason for a last second loss to Dabo Swinney’s Tigers at the College Football Playoff national title game? Eisen pressed for an explanation of why Kirkpatrick believes it was Saban’s fault.
“When you’ve got guys running a switch release on the goal line for two touchdowns back-to-back, at the end of the day you’ve gotta check that on the sideline after the first mistake,” Kirkpatrick explained. “It’s on the players also, but it falls on the coach. That’s why I say he got out-coached.”
If that’s tough to digest from a former Saban player, there was more interesting Saban critiquing from Kirkpatrick earlier in the interview.
While Kirkpatrick was initially agreeing with former Alabama star Ryan Anderson that Alabama practices are harder than NFL practices, he offered up that he believes Saban has softened his practice routine since Kirkpatrick last played there in 2011.
“Trust me, they don’t practice as hard as we did when I was there,” he said. “For whatever reason, it’s definitely hard, but it’s not as hard as it was.
“When he first got there, he was on the desperate end of the stick. Now he’s on the back burner end of the sick. He’s kinda got the program set how he wants it to be set.”
So how does Kirkpatrick know this? Good question. That’s exactly what Eisen wanted to know.
“Just hearing the things that they do,” Kirkpatrick replied. “Especially with the two-a-days. When I got there we had eight or nine. They’re getting two or three of them.”
You can watch the clip of the interview here:
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) August 7, 2017
Does anyone else think Coach Saban may be giving Dre a phone call sometime in the near future? Saban is always looking for teachable moments, and this seems like it could be a chance for the two to talk things out.