Alabama Football: Nick Saban to Jalen and Tua, ‘win the team’

On Thursday Nick Saban repeated an old refrain about an Alabama football starting QB for 2018, saying the starter will have to win the team.

The last thing Alabama football coach, Nick Saban wants to talk about in June is a starting quarterback. July and at least most of August will not modify Nick’s aversion.

When asked on Thursday to comment on how difficult it will be to choose between Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, Saban said, “it won’t be difficult at all.” Count us an unconvinced. It will be more than difficult.  The decision could lead to a transfer or even worse, a team split in loyalty.

Make no mistake, Nick Saban wants what is best for the entire Alabama football team. That does not mean he is callous to the disappointment one guy will face as the second choice. It is a tough situation but football is filled with tough situations.

The rest of what Nick said deserves more notice.

I think that both players need to know that they need to win the team … And the best way for them to do that is to stay focused on what they need to do, and I think anything that they do that brings attention to themselves probably erodes the opportunity for that to happen.

We have heard ‘winning the team’ before

Winning the team is an old line for Nick. No doubt, he and his staff place great importance in it. It is such a common thread, Jalen and Tua need no reminder. Reading the comments again, maybe Nick’s message was directed to Averion Hurts and Galu Tagovailoa. Neither fit the role of troublemaker parent, but understandably they will act in a manner in the best interest of their sons. Saban understands that but he would prefer they do so quietly.

Or the comment could be as simple as a message to Tua that his transfer comments in Hawaii are not universally appreciated. We can’t know Nick’s intent but we know 99.9 percent of his words are carefully calculated.

It is possible both young men are so well liked and respected by their teammates, many players will happily defer to the coaches. Certainly, Alabama football does not need entrenched groups of players on opposite sides of the QB decision.

We have suggested before Nick might even try a two-QB system. He is not fond of that approach but he used it at LSU. Some experimentation could be utilized in the first three games, with little risk of it back-firing into a loss. It is entirely possible, no opponent’s defense will provide a stiff challenge until the post-season.

Moving forward with the QB situation, we are sure of three things. Nick Saban should take his time. Nick Saban will take his time. Whatever decision or decisions Nick makes will be second-guessed throughout the college football world and among many Alabama football fans.