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Monday, November 18, 2019

Articles tagged: Nick Saban

Urban Meyer defends Nick Saban’s handling of Tua Tagovailoa

Nick Saban

Alabama coach Nick Saban has come under significant criticism for his handling of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Saturday’s game, but another high-profile name in the sport has his back.

Tagovailoa was still in the game with three minutes left in the first half despite the fact that he was still recovering from an ankle injury and had the team ahead 35-7. That was the point that Tagovailoa hurt his hip, an injury that is set to end his season. Many argued that Saban was reckless with his quarterback and that Tagovailoa should have been resting by that point. Saban later said in an interview that that was going to be Tagovailoa’s last possession of the game.

Urban Meyer, now doing analysis for FOX Sports, said he understood where Saban was coming from in his decision to leave Tagovailoa in.

“I was staring at Coach Saban’s face right there. He’s hurting,” Meyer said. “He’s gonna get his players ready to play the games coming up down the road. … It’s the obligation of the coach to get the team ready. And he sees Auburn coming down the road, a potential SEC Championship, and he made the comment about a two-minute drill. I certainly understand that. Is it the right thing or the wrong thing? That’s his decision to make with the player involved.”

Meyer also relayed a story from when he was coaching Florida about an injury suffered by Tim Tebow. Meyer had decided Tebow would not play in a massive game against LSU, but he was cleared by doctors. Meyer initially didn’t change his stance until a “heated” discussion with Tebow and his father, and the coach ultimately relented. That story was meant to illustrate that players want to play, and that Tagovailoa probably didn’t want to be sitting, either.

Saban said as much after the game.

Tagovailoa’s injury sounds very severe, and the second-guessing of Saban will continue. That second-guessing does not sound likely to come from Meyer.

Nick Saban had funny comment about Tua Tagovailoa playing against LSU

Nick Saban

Nick Saban said earlier this week that Tua Tagovailoa will be a game-time decision for Saturday’s big game against LSU, but the Alabama quarterback apparently has a lot to prove before he is cleared.

During Thursday morning’s edition of “SportsCenter,” an audio clip was played from Alabama’s practice that featured Saban telling Tagovailoa about an important milestone he needs to hit before Saturday. The junior, who has been battling an ankle injury, first has to be able to beat the 68-year-old Saban in a foot race. As of Wednesday, Saban said he still had the edge.

Tagovailoa is probably less than 100 percent healthy, but it would be hard to imagine him missing the biggest game of the year. He has reportedly been recovering better than expected after suffering the ankle injury on Oct. 19, and it is probably a positive sign that Saban was joking around with him during practice.

Tagovailoa has 27 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions on the season, and he and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow are two of the favorites to take home the Heisman Trophy. Saturday’s game has the potential to be the best of the year. We’d be surprised if Tua sat out.

Urban Meyer agrees with Nick Saban about ‘rat poison’

Urban Meyer

The phrase “rat poison” has entered the college football vernacular thanks to the efforts of Alabama coach Nick Saban, but he’s not the only one who believes in the concept.

Urban Meyer, former Ohio State coach and current Fox analyst, used the phrase Saturday in the wake of Wisconsin’s stunning loss at Illinois. Meyer said that he felt hype could impact players. He reasoned that the Badgers, with a Heisman candidate in Jonathan Taylor and playoff aspirations, may have been a bit distracted or overwhelmed by that chatter.

“Nick Saban calls it the rat poison,” Meyer said.

Saban sure does, and it’s a phrase he’s proven to be quite fond of. The Alabama coach doesn’t want his players hearing too much about how good everyone thinks they are. It’s a nice, succinct phrase to describe what a lot of coaches fear — getting lost within one’s own hype. Meyer knows it. All the great coaches do.

Nick Saban says his players listen to the media more than they listen to him

Nick Saban

Few coaches in the history of sports have been more wary of the media than Nick Saban, but the Alabama coach thinks writers, reporters and analysts are better at one aspect of his job than he is — getting players to listen.

If Saban has an important message to deliver to his team, he apparently uses the media to deliver it. The five-time national champion said during his weekly radio show Thursday that his players listen to things that are said on TV or the radio more closely than if he says it to them directly.

That sounds like an exaggeration and was probably said with some sarcasm, but it would not be a surprise if Saban feels there is some truth to it. It would also help explain why he does his radio show.

Alabama has been at or near the top of the college football world since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa more than a decade ago, and he often refers to the media as “rat poison.” The coach has gone to great lengths to get the media to not cover his team so positively, and that’s because he thinks players hear all the compliments and get too complacent. It’s no surprise that the same coach who calls the media “rat poison” believes they have a more direct line into his players’ brains than he does.

Josh Jacobs recalls hilarious quote from Nick Saban about catching passes

Nick Saban

If someone told you to name a football coach with a tremendous sense of humor, Nick Saban probably would not be the first person to come to mind. However, as rookie running back Josh Jacobs reminded us on Friday, the way a coach acts in the media is not always an accurate representation of his personality.

In an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Jacobs revealed that Saban likes to crack hilariously inappropriate jokes with his players. More specifically, the six-time national champion is big on “deez nuts” jokes.

“Saban likes to do a lot of, like, deez nuts jokes. It’s funny because I hadn’t heard them since like middle school, and then I went to college and Saban used to do it a lot,” Jacobs said. “One day I caught like five passes in a row and he was like, ‘Hey Josh, if you wanna hold all the balls, hold deez.’ I sat there for a second and I was like, ‘Did he really just say that?'”

Jacobs added that Saban is a lot funnier than people think he is. He can say that again.

Saban and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick are close friends, and both are known for being short with the media. However, it’s interesting that Belichick has supposedly cracked similar jokes and has a surprising sense of humor as well. The two coaches may be the greatest of all time in their respective sports, but that does not mean they are opposed to having a good laugh every now and then.

Nick Saban ‘really happy’ for Jalen Hurts’ success at Oklahoma

Nick Saban

Nick Saban spoke with the media on Monday, two days after Alabama’s season-opening 42-3 win over Duke. The Crimson Tide head coach talked about former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts’ successful debut at Oklahoma and sounded genuinely happy for his former QB.

Saban said he did not get to watch Hurts’ game against Houston because he and his staff were busy working, but he heard Hurts played well and is “really happy” for the quarterback.

Oklahoma beat Houston 49-31. Hurts went 20/23 for 332 yards and three touchdowns passing. He rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns.

Hurts was at Alabama’s program for three seasons before leaving for Oklahoma as a graduate transfer. He led the Tide to the national championship game as a true freshman. One of his best moments came when he led Bama to a comeback in the SEC Championship Game last season as the backup to Tua Tagovailoa. That performance made Saban emotional.

Nick Saban offers epic quote about players talking trash

Nick Saban

Nick Saban offered an epic quote during his radio show on Thursday about players who talk trash.

Saban was speaking on his weekly radio program and said he watches football on TV sometimes. He said he doesn’t care for the self-indulgent displays he sees.

Then he delivered a classic quote.

“If you want to talk s— to the other team, join the god damn debate team,” Saban said, via Al.com’s Michael Casagrande.

Saban then apologized for cursing on the air, of course.

That’s such a great quote though. Saban likes his players staying within themselves, not getting penalized, and focusing on the task at hand, not trash-talking. What better communicates that message than that quote?

Saban isn’t just the greatest college football coach ever; he’s also quite an orator. Beyond his debate team quote, he also talked about energy vampires affecting the team. He has some great sayings. And he also received credit this week for his stance on second chances.