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#pounditTuesday, September 21, 2021

Tua Tagovailoa shares the two sides of Nick Saban

Nick Saban

Nick Saban has a reputation for being hard on his players, but there is a reason he continues to land the top recruits in the nation every year. As Tua Tagovailoa explained this week, there are “two sides” to arguably the greatest college football coach of all time.

Tagovailoa shed some light on what it was like to play for Saban during an appearance on Mike Greenberg’s “Greeny” show on ESPN Radio this week. He said Saban is demanding on the field but “very loving” toward his players off of it.

“Then the other side where you get someone who is very caring. Very loving for his players. That’s who coach Saban was,” Tagovailoa said, as transcribed by Austin Nivison of 247 Sports. “On the field, he was very hard. He expected the best out of his players. He expected the best out of you.”

Tagovailoa said Saban being able to balance both coaching relationships and personal relationships helped prepare Tua for the NFL.

“I think having someone like that has helped me in the NFL because you deal with guys with different personalities,” Tagovailoa added. “You deal with guys that are ‘hoo-rah’ guys that like to get in your butt. You also deal with guys where you’ve got to help them get the best out of them. I think that’s how he helped me.”

Saban is a lot like Bill Belichick in that the coach we see during games and in interviews is not the same person a lot of players and associates describe. Heck, remember that unbelievable story Josh Jacobs told about Saban joking around during practice? The seven-time national champion knows how to have a good time, and that balance clearly helps his players.

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