SEC Football Media Days: Nick Saban Asks For Help Keeping Alabama Players Focused


Did Nick Saban admit during SEC Football Media Days that some Alabama football players were not mentally prepared to play in the National Championship Game?

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Nick Saban needs a little help with his job. After all, it’s really hard to be the coach at Alabama.

Charlie Potter of quoted Saban during media days.

“We’re trying to get ready for a game and all of a sudden a guy finds out he’s a first-round draft pick or a guy that thought he was a first-round draft pick finds out he’s not a first-round draft pick. And we’re trying to get ready for a playoff game.”

We get it. It’s all about the football game – your football game. A player might be distracted.

Players do more than play football, even in Tuscaloosa. There are girl friends, families.

They go to school.

“Non-football distractions” are not banned from campus. “Non-football distractions” are not banned from Tuscaloosa.

we have a target on our back

Incoming emails are not screened.

Twitter is not manipulated.

No one censors the campus newspaper.

Nick Saban lost control of Alabama football and he wants help.

If the players are not ready to play in the National Championship game, someone messed up, and it wasn’t the NFL.

Every Alabama football player grasps the significance of a National Championship football game. It is impossible for an Alabama football player to not understand the personal benefit he receives over the course of his life for winning a national championship.

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When pressed later, Saban said, “It wasn’t an excuse at all for losing to Ohio State. There is no excuse. We didn’t play well. It’s my responsibility, and I didn’t manage it as well as I should have.”

But the toothpaste is out of the tube. Saban chose the biggest media stage of the preseason to make his complaint and made himself perfectly clear. Alabama players can’t be trusted to stay focused on football and he wants help.

Senior center Ryan Kelly’s comments give a clue about the the Alabama football psyche.

Quotes Charlie Potter of, “You look at it every year, there are some guys who are thinking about other things, thinking about the NFL or whatnot.”

Of course there are, and on every campus all season. But then Kelly added this.

“Because we’re on such a big stage and we have a target on our back, things like that show sometimes.”

We get it. We’ve always gotten it.

Football is just a bigger deal at Alabama and it’s a problem. Because Alabama football is a bigger deal, everybody wants to beat Alabama. So it’s harder to win because distractions are a bigger problem at Alabama . . .

. . . but not really Coach Saban’s problem.

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