An initial look at the 2022 Alabama Crimson Tide is a couple of days away. On Wednesday, Nick Saban gave some solid indications of what to expect from his 16th Alabama football team.
One thing Crimson Tide fans will notice is not so much what Nick Saban said, but how he said it. A more relaxed Nick Saban is not new. It is tempting to say the GOAT has mellowed, but using ‘mellow’ to categorize Saban still fails to fit.
He still has plenty of fire when the circumstances warrant, but over the last few years, Saban has changed his perspective on coaching football.
Always a teacher, he has become even more so. Always a leader, he has learned more about how to nurture leadership in others. Always honest, he has become a bit more candid.
The best advice on understanding Saban has always been when he talks, pay attention – to every word. He chooses each of them carefully.
More recent is his willingness to pull back the curtain a bit. He is still careful and alert to challenges, but keeping his guard up is no longer an every moment thing.
"I think I’ve become a better teacher. I think yelling and screaming at players in this day and age really goes in one ear and out the other. If you want them to really resonate on what you’re saying, you just need to teach it, and sometimes, it works better if you do it individually than if you do it in front of other people. That’s not something I considered in years past, several years past.I still can get hot under the collar every now and then, but I try to leave that to intangible things like giving effort, playing with toughness and finishing plays …"
Saban also told Low the 2022 team has bought in.
Nick Saban comments from SEC Teleconference
- On the four cornerbacks competing for starting roles, “everybody has made significant progress and improvement”
- On defensive end, Tim Smith, “Tim Smith has done a really, really good job. He had a really good fall camp” Saban also noted the progress of Jamil Burroughs.
- On Bryce Young, “The guy won the Heisman Trophy. The most important thing I’ve seen is that none of what he did last year has affected what he’s doing this year.”
Providing a general summary, Saban said preparation had been good in fall camp and,
"We’re looking forward to finding out exactly where our team is."
Alabama football fans are looking forward as well. On Saturday night, Crimson Tide fans will get a partial viewing. There will be no need to utilize all the Tide’s tool kit against Utah State.
For those who have not noticed, during the preseason, Nick Saban has frequently talked about liking the 2022 team – and he has smiled a lot. Those are bad signs for the rest of CFB.