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Lane Kiffin favors Alabama backfield trio over any in NFL

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin believes his RB trio is better than any in the NFL.

Under Alabama coach Nick Saban's policy that restricts assistant coaches from speaking to the media in all but the rarest of circumstances, not much has been heard from new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin since his January hire.

But of course, in his first such opportunity, the loose-talking former Oakland Raiders and USC head coach raised eyebrows.

"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," Kiffin said at a speaking engagement in Mobile, Ala., according to

Come again?

Kiffin's unfathomable reference was to the Crimson Tide's trio of T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake. So how far-fetched is it? All three would eventually need to make an NFL living, with at least one of them a starter, for Kiffin's suggestion to be looked back on with any credibility. That's not necessarily impossible, but it will be years before the notion can be validated.

» Putting Kiffin's talk to the test: Identifying NFL's top RB trios

Yeldon is among the SEC's top rushers, the next to be drafted behind Alabama's parade of NFL rushers under Saban, following Glen Coffee, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy (all third-round picks or higher). Henry has the "next man up" label in that lineage, and flashed that potential in the Sugar Bowl as the only highlight (eight carries, 100 yards) for UA fans in a 45-31 loss to Oklahoma. Henry will be a sophomore this fall. Drake could be the most explosive of the three, but has had fumbling issues and at times has fallen out of favor with Saban.

The next time Kiffin speaks is expected to be in August, when both Alabama coordinators typically address the media before fall camp commences.

Mic check -- testing, one, two.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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