Freelance Journalist

SABAN IN MIDSEASON FORM

S

Nick Saban is one reason why I love college football. After leading Alabama to a 37-point win over Louisville (51-14) on Saturday, Saban stopped to speak with ESPN reporter Maria Taylor, who promptly asked:

What did you make of your quarterbacks?

Let the fireworks show begin.

Saban snapped, replying:

“I still like both guys. I think both guys are good players, I think both guys can help our team. Alright, so why do you continue to try and get me to say something that doesn’t respect one of them? I’m not going to, so quit asking.”

I don’t suspect Taylor, or any other reporter for that matter, will stop asking questions about the competition between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts as long as both are still taking snaps every game.

Saban knows this, and he is using it to his advantage to fuel the competition between his QBs throughout the week and on GameDay. The truth is, Saban wants to use every resource to push two talented athletes as far as he can to maximize their performance.

Why?

This is not about Tagovailoa or Hurts, it’s about the Alabama Crimson Tide winning another national championship. To accomplish that, Saban needs a quarterback with great athleticism, leadership and confidence. Right now, neither Tagovailoa or Hurts is forcing Saban to make a decision.

On Saturday, Tagovailoa completed 12-of-16 passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns and one running TD. Hurts completed 5-of-9 pass attempts for 70 yards. Neither have separated themselves as the obvious choice. So, Saban will use the soft early season schedule to observe and challenge his team and he will use the media pressure to do some of the heavy lifting.

While the media will focus on the behavior, the fact is this has nothing to do with Saban, or his relationship with Taylor or any other media outlet. In fact, he later apologized for the outburst.

This is what makes Saban a great coach and tactician. He pushes good athletes to greatness by stretching their physical and mental capacity, taking players beyond their comfort zone and into another strata. You can count on one hand the number of coaches — in any sport — capable of this level of leadership.

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About the author

John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. I am a storyteller. I love to write. My writing is predominantly related to my greatest passion in life: baseball. Thanks for visiting my website.

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Freelance Journalist

ABOUT AUTHOR

John Strubel

Hi. My name is John Strubel. I am a storyteller. I love to write. My writing is predominantly related to my greatest passion in life: baseball. Thanks for visiting my website.

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