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Who is Freddy Soft? Coach JaMarcus Shephard breaks down how Alabama stops complacency

Washington Huskies WR coach JaMarcus Shephard on the sideline during 2024 CFP National Championship Game versus Michigan.
Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Nick Saban and Kalen DeBoer share a massive common goal.

Both believe in having assistant coaches on staff with ideas, vision, and significant insight.

RELATED: JaMarcus Shephard reveals why he chose to coach at Alabama, family connection to state

Saban carried a coaching staff for 17 years at the University of Alabama, but DeBoer brought over guys from his staff at Washington that understand what it’s going to take to win consistently in the Southeastern Conference.

JaMarcus Shephard, the Crimson Tide’s assistant head coach, co-offensive coordinator, and receivers coach, shared a lot in an interview with Ryan Fowler of The Game via Tide 100.9 FM.

He was the booming voice inside the indoor facility during Alabama’s 4th Quarter Program, motivating players to push past adversity.

Shephard mentored the Huskies’ offensive attack with Michael Penix to a Pac-12 Championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

He is not one for complacency as Shephard brought an interesting conversation to Fowler about how Alabama plans to not have it on this team and going forward. He gave the term a name, “Freddy Soft,” in describing how it prevents people from being at their best.

“Freddy Soft shows up every once in a blue moon,” Shephard said.

“It is that little person that sits on your shoulder. Freddy Soft shows up in everyone’s life at some point. Freddy Soft sits on your shoulder and says ‘Hey, don’t get out of bed today. Go ahead and eat that snack. That snack will be good for you, that cookie is good for you.’ Freddy Soft will tell you ‘Hey, you don’t want to go to work today. Call in sick.’ Freddy Soft tells our players ‘Hey, don’t go hard. Don’t go hard. Take this rep off. It does not matter, don’t hit that guy, don’t take that hit, don’t do it, you know what, take this play off.’ Freddy Soft tells us all the things that we don’t want to do. Every day you have to fight Freddy Soft. You have to fight him every single day because he’s trying to jump on your shoulder and talk to you every day.”

RELATED: Austin Mack, transfer QB for Alabama, looking to ‘push the envelope’ to become the starter

Complacency and laziness are things Shephard, DeBoer, and this Alabama coaching staff will not tolerate. DeBoer knows opponents are going to give his Alabama teams the best game to knock them out. The Crimson Tide has to be the most physically and mentally conditioned group to excel in the upcoming fall. Shephard knows that laziness does not breed champions.

Spring practice for the Tide kicks off on Monday, March 4.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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