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Kiffin jokes about what Saban says during games: ‘I love you so much… but can we please run the ball?’

Lane Kiffin

At the award ceremony for the 2014 Broyles Award, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin shed some light on what he and Alabama head coach Nick Saban talk about on the sidelines.

“He’s just saying, ‘Hey Lane, I love you so much. Thank you so much for coming here,” Kiffin said. “Can you please stop throwing the ball so much and run it a few times please?”

Kiffin was clearly joking and went as far as saying, “Oh, this is why he doesn’t let me talk to the media.”

Watch the full speech here:

Kiffin was one of five coaches nominated for the Broyles Award, which goes to the best assistant coach in college football. He, along with Dave Steckel, defensive coordinator from Missouri, Tom Herman, offensive coordinator from Ohio State, Scott Frost, offensive coordinator from Oregon, and Doug Meacham, the co-offensive coordinator from TCU attended the ceremony Tuesday.

Herman won the award, preventing Kiffin from becoming the the second winner from Alabama after defensive coordinator Kirby Smart won it in 2009.

But even without winning, it was a well-deserved victory lap for Kiffin, who just months ago was a controversial hire coming off of a disastrous tenure as USC’s head coach.

Under Kiffin’s leadership, Alabama’s offense has been one of the most productive in the country, setting a school record for yards gained in a season. The Tide finished the regular season ranked No. 8 in the country in total yardage, racking up striking numbers after finishing just 32nd in total offense the year before. And perhaps more than anything, he brought innovation to an offense that desperately needed to diversify its play calling.

Kiffin also came in with the ability to recruit top talent — a prerequisite for coaching at Alabama — and a reputation for sculpting quarterbacks, which he has certainly done this season with first-year starter and fifth-year senior Blake Sims.

He calls touchdowns before they happen, is a sounding board for Saban on the sideline, and has become an integral part of Alabama’s 2014 College Football Playoff berth.

In his opening remarks at the Broyles Award ceremony, Kiffin thanked his family and every coach who has hired him throughout his career, ending with Saban: the man who gave him new life in football.

“Coach Saban really took a chance on me when a lot of people wouldn’t do it,” Kiffin said. “He has been phenomenal to me throughout the entire year.”

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