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Jumbo Package: Kiffin says Alabama wanted him to wear a bulletproof vest in Knoxville

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Boca Raton Bowl-Florida Atlantic vs Akron Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Somebody, this time ESPN’s Marty Smith, gave Lane Kiffin a microphone again, and Lane had something amusing to say as usual.

“It’s crazy, they were literally talking, like from the bus (ride) in, a bulletproof vest,” Kiffin said. “I’m like ‘come on guys. This is football.’ They had security with me the whole time, walking on the field and stuff like that. But I was like ‘I’m not wearing a vest guys. That’s a little too over-the-top.’”

In case you forgot, this is what Lane was dealing with back in 2010 (explicit language warning):

What a critter.

Of course, the news of the day was Collin Sexton going #8 overall. Here’s what he had to say.

Q: You played for an NBA coach in college, Avery Johnson. What did you learn from him in college that could possibly help you at this level?

CS: “Man, he taught me a whole lot on the court as well as off the court, but on the court he taught me how to run the pick-and-roll, also how to make sure my teammates and everybody was in the flow of the game. Off the court, he always just told me be respectful to everybody, and also just make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings because you never know what’s happening around you.”

This is a key season in the Johnson era. The team should be able to take another step forward this season.

“I wasn’t there in the spring, obviously, but in the two years I coached Mack, he really has grown as a player from probably when he first got there he didn’t want to make any calls to when I left there he wanted to make all the calls,” Pruitt said of the now-junior linebacker.

“Last year, he fought through some injuries. He has unbelievable toughness. Great competitor. A very smart football player. Instinctive. So yeah, he’ll be fine.”

As long as Mack stays healthy, he’s going to be more than fine. He has a great chance to play his way into the first round.

Hey, nothing else going on so let’s preview the schedule.

Okay, so maybe “toughest” isn’t the proper superlative to use when describing Alabama’s October slate for the upcoming football season. Given that the Crimson Tide has compiled a combined record of 24-0 in games against Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee under head coach Nick Saban, perhaps “not easiest” would be a better way of putting it.

This schedule sets up perfectly for an undefeated regular-season run. The only game that gives you pause is playing at LSU, but Alabama has owned LSU since the 2011 national championship. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, especially if Ed Orgeron continues to be the coach.

Auburn will be a quality opponent, but the Tide gets the Tigers at home so that one shouldn’t be too tough of a test.

This year’s rat poison is going to be that everybody on the schedule sucks. The challenge will be keeping the players focused on their play rather than the scoreboard.

Every other SEC program has made at least one change at the top since 2013.

So, when the staff of a rival school plays the age card and its fans openly ask if Saban will still be coaching in five years, all someone from Alabama has to do is say, “Probably. What are the chances your coach will be there in five years?”

You don’t need to shake a Magic 8 Ball to know that the most likely answers are: Don’t count on it, outlook not so good or very doubtful.

Good stuff. “Hey, if Saban leaves, it’ll be for retirement. Their guy will probably be canned before then anyway.”

Last, Alabama made a contingent offer to a local QB.

The Crimson Tide already has commitments from Hewitt-Trussville’s Paul Tyson and Thompson’s Taulia Tagovailoa in the Class of 2019.

But Tagovailoa visited Tennessee last weekend, and he’s also received renewed interest from LSU, despite having committed to Alabama on A-Day earlier this year.

”If one of those guys does decide to de-commit, my offer becomes committable and I’m the next guy that they want,” Brown said.

This makes one uneasy about Taulia. If the staff is making contingent offers, there is at least some concern about him.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.