Coordinators provide continuity for Alabama

Posted by | Aug 9, 2010 | -

The coaching staff, one area where the Crimson Tide might have expected heavy defections after a national championship season, returns virtually intact and continues its non-verbal communication. Sometimes a glance here and a nod there goes a long way and saves a little time. “The one great thing here is we’ve actually had some continuity,” offensive coordinator Jim McElwain said Sunday. “A lot of times we can kind of feel the unspoken a little bit. We kind of know what to expect.” McElwain and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart — unmuzzled Sunday for the only time Saban allows all season — may have been the biggest surprises amongst the returnees to Alabama this season. “Kirby and Jim McElwain both have done a fantastic job,” Saban said. “Part of that fantastic job is getting the people that they work with to contribute in a positive way so that they are most effective and efficient in what they do.” [More]

Saban’s process still efficient

Two stunning Nick Saban revelations emerged from Alabama’s football Media Day on Sunday. One, that he has ever been “burned out.” Two, the process-oriented Alabama coach actually changed something in his (Sabanese alert) “process” relative to life after a national championship. It centers on events from six years ago. The then-LSU coach was between seasons, after the Tigers earned a share of the national title, and Saban was in peak demand. That Nick Saban tried to be more accommodating. This year? Not so much. “I’ve been a little more guarded this year relative to things I allow myself to do,” he said. “I remember after (2003) I was totally almost burned out in the offseason by all of the things that I did, whether it was speaking or whatever, it was due to demand and requests. But this year, though the demand and requests were there, I sort of said, ‘Look, I’m standing pat. This is how many times I speak. This is how many Crimson Caravans I do, and that’s not changing.’” [More]

Nick Saban is consistent

When I met with Alabama coach Nick Saban back in the spring, he made the case to me that Alabama probably shouldn’t be considered the nation’s No. 1 team in the preseason. He made a very logical argument based on the number of starters he would have to replace on defense (9) and the fact that his special teams were simply decimated and he would likely have true freshmen at both kicking spots. When the coaches poll came out Friday Alabama received 55 of 59 first place votes. One of the four coaches who did not vote Alabama at No. 1 was Saban. [More]

McCarron improves as backup QB

Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain said that he’s comfortable using backup quarterback A.J. McCarron, if necessary, and is excited about true freshman Phillip Sims. McCarron is the heir apparent to senior Greg McElroy and Sims is the only other quarterback on scholarship. “I think our coaching staff does a great job of getting our backup QBs ready,” McCarron said. “That’s what we practice for. If you can do it in practice, you can do it in the game. The crowd is the only difference really. “You’ve still got people coming after you wanting to take your head off.” McElroy has been an able tutor for McCarron and Sims, McElwain said. “It’s great for those two guys to have Greg in that room because he is the consummate guy that studies everything we do,” McElwain said. “They’re learning how to be a successful quarterback from a guy that’s won a few games in his career. [More]

Roll Tide!

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