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DeBoer: Replacing Saban at Alabama a privilege

Brandon Sumrall / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Kalen DeBoer has heard the chatter about the pressure of replacing Nick Saban at Alabama, but he sees the opportunity differently.

"I look at it as a privilege, and not pressure, to be able to come to a place like this," DeBoer told ESPN's Chris Low. "I understand that there are expectations that are extremely high. But think about what the alternative is, to be at a place that doesn't have expectations."

He added, "That's not what I'm looking for, not what I've gone through to get to this point."

Saban retired in January after 17 years coaching the Crimson Tide. Alabama won nine SEC titles and six national championships under him. His absence has fueled questions over whether the program can maintain its success, but DeBoer feels he and his players have a point to prove.

"I think there's maybe a common chip on our shoulder," DeBoer said. "Our players here at Alabama fell an overtime short of playing for the national championship last year. We were one step away from winning the national championship at Washington. ... Let's take that next step together."

DeBoer says he hasn't had a sit-down conversation with Saban but looks forward to doing so in the future.

DeBoer accumulated a 25-3 record over two years as Washington head coach and led the Huskies to a CFP National Championship appearance this past season.

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