What Nick Saban Means By Saying “This is the Best Coaching Staff He’s Ever Had”
By: Larry Burton
When you look at the current head coaches that are doing pretty well and making millions of dollars, it’s hard to believe that the crop of assistants he has now are a better team of coaches than any he’s ever assembled before, but Nick Saban doesn’t make many frivolous statements.
So let’s take a look at what he means by saying that this year’s group is the best he’s ever assembled.
First of all – They’re great recruiters. Yes, this squad is just killing it out on the recruiting trail and building strong relationships with this year’s commitments to ensure they put pen to paper on signing day.
Secondly – They’re great position coaches as well. Let’s face it, sometimes a coach settles for a great recruiter that may be a little weak on the position side of coaching. Even Saban has done this before. Lance Thompson, who’s coached a few times for Saban was and still is a top notch recruiter, but he was not so great when it came to being a top notch teaching position coach. Thompson pulled in some of Bama’s best. Julio Jones, Mark Barron, DaShawn Hand, Johnathon Allen and so many more. Hey that kind of recruiting production sure would make me consider hiring him even if he was a little weak on position skill coaching. This group doesn’t have a weak link in the teaching and training of their position. The fact that they’re also top notch recruiters is just too good to be true.
Thirdly – They all share a common philosophy on football and that is Nick Saban’s philosophy. There’s no distention, no one wanting to pull things more his way at the sake of others or any rifts on what how their position teaching merge in to the overall offense, defense or special teams.
Fourth – They get along. There’s strong mutual respect on the coaching squad for one another, there’s no jealously and no one has had their toes stepped on by another. That is a hard thing to accomplish in a group of high paid coaches all looking for bigger and better things in their careers down the road.
Lastly – The command the respect of the men they coach. These position coaches all have their praises sung by the players they coach. They not only like the coaches they work with day in and day out, but they respect them and understand not only what they’re trying to pass on them, but why it’s important.
In recruiting and coaching meetings, Saban has noticed that there’s just a great vibe with these coaches and with the team as a whole. And let’s face it, you’re not going to pull the wool over Nick Saban’s eyes by simply pretending to lockstep in putting out a singular mission and adhering to the current “process” that Nick Saban has laid out.
He feels like he’s got a group of coaches he can trust to do their job and that gives him more time to oversee the big picture of everything going on rather than helping a position coach with proper drills, instruction and teaching.
Nick Saban isn’t one to gush over players or coaches, so many of us that have covered Saban since he first set foot in the SEC at LSU were somewhat shocked that he would come out and say what he did about this being the coaching staff he’s ever assembled. While the group may not have a superstar like a Kirby Smart, it is a well oiled machine with a singular focus on a singular mission like no other he’s ever had.
The sad thing for Saban, as well as for Alabama and their fans, is that this great squad of coaches like all great squads, won’t stay together very long. Other school will offer bigger jobs with bigger pay to try and capture some of that “Saban Magic” for themselves. But while they’re here, they are indeed a marvel to watch. Now all they have to do is live up to the hype and prove Nick Saban right in his assessment of them and for one, this writer thinks they will.
Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter