The calendar may say March, but Nick Saban‘s testiness with the media screams mid-October.
Tuesday, Alabama kicked off spring practice as the Crimson Tide begins preparing for the 2017 season. Afterward, and as is standard practice, the head coach met with the media to review the day’s proceedings and gave an overview of the current state of his squad.
One particular question, however, raised Saban’s dander, with the offending party having the gall to ask about the Tide returning to a “ball-control” mentality based on how the national championship game loss played out. That was enough to set Saban off, with the coach initially teeing off on the questioner — “[D]o you do what everybody else in the media does, just create some shit, put it on the wall and see what sticks?” — before veering off on a tangent about an NCAA rule regarding high school coaches; dipping his toes into the loud noise surrounding politics; and finally getting back to the original topic.
Below is the transcript of Saban’s rant, followed by video of his latest measured tongue-lashing of the media.
There, there, there, there was nothing, you know we didn’t block them, we didn’t execute very well. We didn’t throw the ball accurately when we had open people and a couple of times we dropped it, so I think it was more a lack of execution than something schematically that we were doing, and that’s on us as coaches. That’s not to blame anybody but us for not having players more well-prepared. You know, the defense also needs to get themselves off the field on third down so that they don’t have to play as many plays, so it’s a combination of things.
“I do think that we could have executed a lot better in that particular game and I think most players would probably tell you that on both sides of the ball — not to take anything away from Clemson — but it is what it is. But, as we always do, we’re going to self-assess what we did through quality control, what we did well, what we need to improve on, visit people [to] try to get better at the things we need to do better. I don’t, philosophically, we’re not, I don’t know where you came up with where we need to go to ball control. That’s not what we do. I mean, the New England Patriots threw the ball over 60-some-percent of the time, which is more than we threw it. So where does that assumption come from? Or do you do what everybody else in the media does, just create some shit, put it on the wall and see what sticks, which is what I see happening everywhere. And people who scream the loudest, they kind of get the attention and we pass some rule that everybody has to live with, or some law, and the consequences mess up a lot of other things. Do it all the time. We’re doing it right now. The NC-double-A is doing it. We’re gonna change the way we have summer camps, we can’t have high school coaches working summer camps. I mean, it’s the most ridiculous things that I’ve ever seen. But it is what it is and whatever they do they do.
“So we say we don’t want third-parties dealing with players so we’re not going to let the high school coach bring a guy to camp but some third-party guy can bring him to camp now. Makes no sense at all. I mean, but all the people who have common sense, they won’t say anything about it. But the people who scream the loudest will get the thing changed and it’ll mess everything up. It’s the way it goes. The way it goes in the world, politics, just the way it goes. Same thing way with you: we’re going to be more conservative now and ball-control offense. Where did that come from? I never said that. Nobody in this building ever said that, so where’d you come up with that? Just, you know, had a dream about it or what? If we had caught some passes in the national championship game, we had guys open, we wouldn’t have had to control the ball. We would have scored more touchdowns.