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The plan is to keep the next few weeks as productive as possible.

“We try to work our way up to a routine,” Kelly said. “There’s that space there, weight training, conditioning, some fundamental work and then try to get back to that routine that they are all familiar with as we lead into the game.”

Aside from keeping the players occupied and in shape, Kelly and Saban are also facing the possibility that members of their staffs could land head coaching jobs over the next week or so.

Kelly’s defensive coordinator, Bob Diaco, was a candidate for the Boston College job that was filled Tuesday when the Eagles hired Steve Addazio away from Temple. Diaco recently won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.

There was speculation about Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart being a candidate for the Auburn job, but the Tigers hired Gus Malzahn.

As jobs are filled others open and there are still plenty of vacancies. There is still a possibility Notre Dame or Alabama _ or both _ could be dealing with this issue.

“I think those folks have every right to receive positive self-gratification professionally by taking advantage of some opportunity they have created for themselves by doing a good job,” Saban said, without talking about any specific assistant. “And I think it’s just a matter of professionalism where you can separate yourself for a day or two, not affect the performance of what you’re trying to do at your job, evaluate the circumstance.”

Last year, Alabama prepared for the national championship game with its offensive coordinator, Jim McElwain, interviewing and accepting the Colorado State head coaching job.

Alabama won that BCS title game 21-0 and Saban said McElwain, “put a great plan together” for the Tide.

And if there is staff turnover during the layoff, and a coach needs to be replaced, Kelly said there are plans in place to deal with it.

“We can’t predict it, but we know that we are prepared regardless of the circumstances, and if we were to lose somebody, we’ve got great coaches on board that are ready to step up,” he said.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP