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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Greg McElroy delivered some must-read comments about Alabama

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Greg McElroy attends the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy shared some must-read comments about the state of the Crimson Tide.

McElroy played at Alabama from 2007-2010 and was there when Nick Saban arrived for the 2007 season. He witnessed the cultural transformation brought about by Saban, which paid off with a 14-0 season and national championship in 2009.

During ESPN’s “Always College Football” show on Tuesday, McElroy said that for the first time under Saban’s reign, he has concerns about the future of the Tide.

“This is the first time that I have ever actually been concerned about the future of the program. The first time,” McElroy said, as transcribed by AL.com.

“I have seen them lose when people have said, ‘The dynasty is over.’ I have seen people back in 2014 say this team will never regain its prowess or its strength. I have seen coach after coach after coach depart for what they might consider to be greener pastures. I’ve seen everything that this program has endured in the last several years, and I have never been concerned about whether or not they’ve been better tomorrow than they were today.

“I’ve always thought regardless of where the program was at, that as long as Nick Saban was there, they’re going to be just fine. I’ve also never gone as far to say that Nick Saban should leave, or, ‘This coach should fired,’ and, ‘This guy is terrible and needs to be benched.’ I’ve never gone about it in that fashion. I don’t believe in it. I’m not a hot-take artist. I’m not one that’s going to go into the whole, ‘Well, if this doesn’t work, everyone should be fired.’ I’m not a, ‘Well, everything’s always greener on the other side’ type of guy. That’s just not the way I look at it. I try to be pragmatic, I try to be understanding, and I try to be thoughtful.

“Well, right now, Alabama feels like it’s at a little bit of a crossroads.”

Alabama is 7-2 and has lost to Tennessee and LSU. They barely beat Texas A&M, and they will visit Ole Miss on Saturday. Bama has not lost more than two games in a season since going 10-3 in 2010, the year after they won the national championship.

On his radio show on WJOX Monday, McElroy raised more concerns about Alabama. He is concerned about how name, image and likeness rules will affect Bama’s ability to build. He thinks the pillars of Saban’s program — discipline, effort, toughness and pride — are in jeopardy due to the mentality of today’s players under the current landscape. He’s also concerned about the coaches Saban has on his staff.

Saban responded on Wednesday and mentioned that the program’s standards and expectations are set so high. He acknowledged that has made it hard on this year’s team.

“We work every day to try to play to a standard and we’ve had a lot of good teams around here for a long time‚” Saban said during his weekly SEC teleconference. “We lost two games by a total of four points, both on the last play of the game. Are there are a lot of things we could do better? Are we satisfied with where we are as a team? Absolutely not.

“But at the same time, sometimes when the standard is so high, there may be some occasion where you don’t quite meet the standard and the expectation that everybody has for you. I do think that standard and expectation has not been something that has helped this team focus on the right things. Stay focused on the process, not get so concerned about the results you get, but what you’ve got to do to get the results. That’s something we’ve been trying to emphasize with them.”

Alabama went 13-0 and won the national championship in 2020. They went 13-2 last year, losing in the national championship game to Georgia during what Saban termed a “rebuilding year.” Maybe they are still rebuilding in his eyes.

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