HOOVER | Alabama head coach Nick Saban addressed the media Thursday in Hoover discussing the suspension of two players from team activities.
Saban announced that running back Kenyan Drake and defensive lineman Jarran Reed have been suspended from team activities indefinitely. Drake, who rushed for 694 yards last year, was arrested earlier this month and charged with one misdemeanor count of obstructing governmental justice.
Reed, who transferred from East Mississippi Community College this spring, was arrested and charged with DUI earlier this month.
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Saban did not specify the length of the suspension, but did note that neither player would be kicked off the team.
Saban also discussed the vacant quarterback position and the arrival of new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
"We have lost some players…In some cases they are at critical positions, like quarterback," Saban said. "We have a transfer player, we have Blake Sims who has been at the program and is a different style quarterback. This is an unproven area for us and it creates some question marks."
Alabama, who finished last year 11-2 overall and 7-1 in the SEC, will also start the season with Lane Kiffin as the new offensive coordinator. Kiffin, who coached at USC last year until his termination, was hired by Saban to take over the offense in December.
"He has done a really, really good job," Saban said about Kiffin. "He is going to do some things offensively that will probably enhance our chances of being successful.The players have responded to him very well…I'm really excited to have the opportunity to work with him. To go back and work as an assistant is a difficult transition for anybody but I think Lane has handled it very well."
The Crimson Tide, who are coming off of a disappointing season in which they did not make the BCS National Championship game, finished last year by losing to Oklahoma 45-31 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Alabama will open this year on August 30 with a game against West Virginia in Atlanta.