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Nick Saban explains why Alabama did not release a depth chart

Nov 5, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban looks on against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Although it’s the week Nick Saban has been waiting for, there is one task that the seven-time national champion has always dreaded completing year in and year out.

Releasing a depth chart.

In the past, Saban has made it clear that the Week One depth chart is not necessarily the end all be all, but each year it’s it’s eroded his patience.

This led to the start of 2023 being a bit different than years past, as Alabama refused to release a depth chart for the start of the season and Saban explained his stance during his Monday media availability.

“I know that your No. 1 focus is not on the game, it’s on the depth chart,” Saban said. “Look there’s, a lot of competition on the team, and when we put a depth chart out, you all think that’s like final, like this etched in stone that it’s gonna be this way forevermore just because we come out of fall camp and that’s where it is.

“But it creates a lot of distractions on our team, creates a lot of guys thinking that, ‘Well, this guy won the job now and I’m not gonna play.’ And quite frankly, we don’t need that. I want all of our players to continue to compete, to continue to compete for playing time, to try to play at the highest level. And I don’t want anybody on our team to think they’re a backup player or whatever, and the depth chart kind of does that.

“I think most of the players on our team know who should start in the game and who shouldn’t start, but that’s something that they do day to day in terms of the way they compete and the way they play, and nobody’s entitled to playing just because we put it on a piece of paper and say this is the way it is today. So I apologize for that, but it is what it is.”

Alabama enters the season with competition all across the board, but the question of who will replace Bryce Young at quarterback has been a position that’s attracted all the eye of the college football world.

No matter who takes the field on Saturday between Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner, it’s clear that the starter will need to continue to earn his spot week in and week out.

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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