Nick Saban talks the Blind Side, NFL, NCAA and more on ‘Hey Coach’

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

On Thursday night’s ‘Hey Coach’ radio show, Nick Saban talked Alabama football, the NFL, movies, the NCAA and the importance of fan support at Bryant-Denny.

Nick Saban is a man of many talents and one of those many talents is communication. He does not suffer fools gladly at press conferences but in any other television or radio format, he excels. The weekly, Thursday night ‘Hey Coach’ radio show is no exception.

Callers may ramble during questions. Media quests may prove their writing skills do not make them good interviewers. It does not matter. Saban will fill the air time with valuable information and make the whole affair entertaining in the process.

On the NCAA and being an actor in ‘The Blind Side’

Thursday night, Saban complimented the NCAA for allowing schools to provide assistance to the families of players in danger from natural disasters. As was done in the Houston area, the University has made sure the Florida families are supported during Irma.

Nick was asked was it harder to coach or act in a movie. He said he did not act in ‘The Blind Side.’  He said he had to be talked into being in the movie as the LSU coach and refused to wear LSU colors. He also refused to use the film’s script. Instead, he just re-enacted what he had previously done in real life. Since he was not acting, he said coaching is harder.

Fresno State preparation for young players

Looking back on his career, Nick said never before had he lost three top players in a game, all at the same position. Plus, against FSU, Alabama lost four of its top eight linebackers.

When asked if he was preparing young guys for bigger leadership roles, his answer was no. “We want them to continue to do what they do, take responsibility for what they do in preparation and in the game.” He also stressed that the core of leadership is taking responsibility to help others.

Saban also said the mindset of the team had been very good this week. Rather than easing up after a big game, the team had not been casual or laid back this week.

On position changes and lineups

The coach explained the ‘rabbit’ group is about playing fast as a team rather than a position. He said Da’Shawn will not be moved to OLB and be asked to learn a new position. Saban said Hand can be an edge rusher in the rabbit group, as well as the other roles he performs.

When asked about walk-ons doing well, Saban praised Jamey Mosley and Levi Wallace. Nick also let it slip that Wallace is a starting cornerback now.

Players Saban hated to see on the other side of the field

Saban said as an NFL coach he never enjoyed seeing Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Dan Marino on the other team. He recalled a game as the Browns’ defensive coordinator when the Dolphins trailed the Browns late. Nick said when Marino went on the field for the final drive, Dan had no doubt he would lead his team to victory. Nick said you could look at Marino and just see his assurance. The Dolphins won.

Saban told a funny story that the players hate something he has been saying for years. Talking about current players, Saban will say “they don’t make’em like they used to” and “the players just hate hearing me say it.” Saban said it again this week in practice while Javier Arenas stood nearby. Javi turned to Nick and said, “I used to get so mad when you said that, but now I know what you mean coach.”

Next: The best tweets from the FSU game.

Alabama football practiced Thursday without the probing eyes of any media members. That is the normal Thursday routine and when it is followed, we regretfully cannot obtain enough information for a practice report.