TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For a guy who has a reputation for a big ego and a lot of loose talk, new Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was much the opposite Sunday. It was no accident, as UA head coach Nick Saban met with Kiffin before a rare media briefing to make sure that nothing Kiffin said, as Kiffin described it, "would end up on the ticker."
Nevertheless, Kiffin, who was fired from USC last year at midseason, wasn't afraid to acknowledge his past problems.
"As you make mistakes, the number one thing you've got to do is learn from them," Kiffin said. "And not just make excuses for them. I've made more than anybody, probably. To go through what I've gone through and still be fortunate to be here, a coordinator with coach Saban at Alabama, you take some time to reflect on that."
Kiffin has had embarrassing ousters at USC and as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, but his one-and-done tenure at Tennessee might have left behind more scorched earth than any of his other departures.
"It took a long time for the Knoxville question," Kiffin joked when asked about UT. "... We had a great year there. The people were phenomenal there. I really loved being there. It was a unique situation that came about (to be offered the USC job). You can't look back. I don't live that way. You've got to live forward."
Kiffin said his approach to joining the Alabama staff, given Saban's level of success, was to absorb and learn rather than try to make wholesale changes.
The only wholesale change on Sunday, at any rate, was in Kiffin's humble demeanor.