| NEWS The interesting things Nick Saban said on ESPN about Tua, being ‘a shy guy,’ his future


Bama News

Nick Saban had a busy day in Bristol, Connecticut on Thursday with several appearances on various ESPN programs. From First Take in the morning and College Football Live in the afternoon, Saban was all over the place a week before opening practice in Tuscaloosa.

We’ll touch on some of the highlights of his various interviews that had a common thread. Everyone wanted to talk about returning starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Sustaining the early-season momentum was a common theme of Saban’s answers on the topic.

“He didn’t turn the ball over but that’s the one thing that showed up at the end of the season -- the last five or six games -- a couple of interceptions,” Saban said on First Take. “Sometimes you have good interceptions and you have bad interceptions. When you’re coaching a player, when the corner bails, you throw the ball underneath. You’re not going to try to throw the ball in the seam and you try to stick it in there anyway. To me, that’s an indication that a guy is trying to make plays and he’s trying too hard.”

It’s a matter of staying patient, Saban added. And when Tagovailoa is, “he’s the most effective player at his position in the country.”

Later on SportsCenter, Saban went deeper into the mindset of a passer like Tagovailoa.

“All quarterbacks want to make plays,” Saban said. “That’s innate in the position. You’re the leader. You know the design of what’s supposed to happen, and you know the receivers want to make plays and the runners want to make plays and you want to distribute the ball to them every time. But the thing the quarterback has to do is have the patience and disciple to just give what the defense gives.”

The first full season starting was a learning experience for the Heisman runner up.

“They’ll give us the game if we let them,” Saban said is the message, “because have good enough players that there will be plays to be made.”

A few more of the notable things Saban said on his interview rounds Thursday:

-- The topic of motivation after Clemson came up a few times. “When you win,” Saban said, “players don’t always respond the way you’d like for them to. … I think we learned a lot from that game and I think we have a lot to prove this season.”

-- Saban said they played their best football in the LSU game and things trailed off from there “for whatever reason.”

-- The leadership of this 2019 team is encouraging to Saban at this point in the offseason. “What the team chemistry is going to be like, that’s a work in progress so we’ll see how that continues to develop.”

-- Saban’s favorite part of the job? The relationships with players and watching them develop is the best part, he said.

-- The worst part? “I was always really shy,” Saban said. “I’ve always been a shy guy so the most difficult part of the job -- and I’m not going to say least favorite -- was learning how to do a decent job of dealing with the media and understanding you all have a job to do, you’re the link to our fans and supporters, it’s really important that you give information and do things and try to be truthful and all of that type of stuff. Not that I ever told a lie, but that was difficult. And in the beginning of my career, I don’t think I did a very good job of that.”

-- And does he have a good relationship with the media? “Some people …”

-- A future on ESPN’s College GameDay? Saban’s appeared a few times and “I actually did enjoy it.” There was still a team feeling “and I really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to express some of the technical aspects of the game to the fans that may enhance their interest to some degree.”

-- That doesn’t mean he’s retiring from coaching anytime soon. Several times Saban said he has “a lot of years left" in this job.
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