Nick Saban plans to retire in Tuscaloosa. He told ESPNâ€™s Chris Low that this would be his last stopâ€”he regrets moving so much in his coaching career.
“This is it for me,” Saban said this week. “I’m 56 years old. I’ve moved around, in my opinion, too much. I’ve made some mistakes. I learned about myself in each one of those jobs. Even going to Miami, I learned about myself and what it means to me to be a college coach and how much I enjoyed that. This is an outstanding opportunity. I’m going to stay here and do this.
“There are no other horizons for me.”
Low also provides us with more information on how Saban feels about the coaching laziness of those who fail to work on the recruiting trail. Saban saw laziness in the spring travel changes.
“I think it’s because some people wanted to do it and did it more than others. It made some of the others who didn’t do it a little skeptical about the ones who did, and I don’t think that’s fair, either. You’re penalizing the people who’re willing to work and go do it. It’s one of those deals that, ‘If I’m not willing to do it, I don’t want the other guy to be able to do it,’ and that’s not right. That doesn’t make it right.”
With Spring Practice underway, the national media are also hard at work getting themselves ready for the summer previews. Low wrote another item Thursday evening about Alabamaâ€™s efforts to get ready for a new season: Saban equipping Tide to live up to Bama’s storied past.
Alabama senior center Antoine Caldwell gathered his teammates around him at the start of practice on Monday, their first day back after spring break, and delivered a stern, but succinct message.
“Let’s get motivated, rejuvenated and rededicated,” Caldwell barked.
One of the biggest problems during the Shula era, and even on last yearâ€™s team was the lack of real team leadership. Leaders hold other players accountable, and push for excellence. Caldwell looks to be a key element. If we have one piece of good news from Springâ€”THIS IS IT.
Last seasonâ€™s problems were a combination of many things including the typical first year uncertainty.
“The first year, no matter where you go or what you do, they’re not even sure what you want,” Saban said. “It’s not that they don’t want to do it. They don’t understand how to do it. Everybody has habits that have been developed over time for them. Sometimes when you try to change those, it’s a little slower process than it is when you bring guys in and kind of develop those habits right off the bat.
“I don’t care if they’re academic habits or social habits or football habits. I just think there’s a process you have to go through, and it takes time to do it. But I do feel a lot better about the fact that we have more players who know what to expect, know what’s expected of them and are trying to do that.”
Saban also goes over some of his concerns, which include depth. Low tells us freshmen could be expected to see playing time early this season. That is possible; however, freshmen who are forced to play early usually face growing pains. If freshmen are pressed into service, expect difficulties during the opening weeks, and benefits as the team reaches the LSU and Auburn games at the end of the season. No matter what Saban decides, youâ€™ll see costs and benefits.
As a closing note, I hate spring. I’ve taken more Benadryl over the last two weeks than the rest of the year. It makes driving, and staying awake difficult. OH well…the price of spring.