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It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
-Coach Bear Bryant
"Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places you have to look at it right."
Saban on Le Batard, who was joined by former Dolphin Jason Taylor:
Taylor on playing for Saban: "I resisted the change to the 3-4 initially because I had been a 4-3 guy. I talked to him about it and he was short and sweet. He said, 'Look if you play in this scheme, you'll be a hall of famer.'"
Saban on biggest regret he had with Dolphins: "I think the biggest thing was handling the way I left. That's always been a thing with me that I've never felt really good about. The one thing I don't have a regret about is the way we dealt with the players."
Saban on choosing Daunte Culpepper over Drew Bress: "We did choose Drew Brees. I've never talked about this publicly, but that's the guy we made the first offer to and he didn't pass the physical."
Saban on having fun as the Dolphins' coach: "This is a great profession but if you're a competitor you want to win. The fun of it for me has always been the winning. If we had had better luck at the quarterback position we would have had a better chance of winning. We were pretty good defensively we just didn't get the execution we needed at the quarterback position."
Saban on the possibility of going back to the NFL: "I really enjoy what I'm doing here. I'm getting old now so I don't think we have too many moves left in us. You develop a lot of loyalty to the players you recruit. Hopefully, I'll be able to stay here a long, long time and we'll be able to have a lot of success.
Saban on how he handled the UA rumors leading up to his acceptance of the job: "I was trying to do the best thing for our team to be successful down the stretch. I didn't entertain any of that stuff until after the season because I was trying to give our team the best chance to win."
Le Batard asked Saban, "Where is the joy?": "It's here, it's here. Jason (Taylor) knows. When we win I'm the happiest guy in the world. Maybe I don't always show it because I'm worried about the next game, but I'm happy, I'm very happy."
Saban on yelling at people. "We haven't practiced in two weeks so I haven't had a chance to yell at anyone. We're starting back to tomorrow so everybody better tie it on."
Saban on what it's like to stand next to his statue: "I don't really stand by it, number one. The only thing I told them was, 'Look, if there is a statue here, it should be for the team.' I think it's a symbol of what the team accomplished and that's all it means to me."
Taylor asked Saban what the "brook trout look" really is: "I'm glad I finally found out you guys didn't know what I was talking about. Whenever you catch a fish and it's got those dead eyes and the mental energy isn't what it should be, that's what I was meaning. Maybe I should have articulated that better."
Saban on Heath Evans' depiction of Saban showing no concern for an ill Jeno James following a practice: "At the time, no one really realized that Jeno was having as tough of a time as he was. You come in from practice and go to walk upstairs and there are guys laying all over the place. Right after that I was with Jeno, as was Jason. Everyone has their perception of what happens, but Jeno was a great player and I have a lot of respect for him and if I didn't show that emotion at time it was because I wasn't aware of his condition at the time." (After the interview Taylor said Evans' depiction of the events was "not true.")
Jason Taylor gave Saban a "Roll Tide!" at the end of the segment.
This post was edited by Travis Reier 16 months ago
Great summary TR. Loved the "Roll Tide!" from Taylor
Very smart and shrewd move going on that show. The Miami media is gong to try and jump all over Saban anyway, but now he can simply deflect by saying, "I've already talked about it, we want to focus on the game."
I'm not sure whose idea it was but it was a very good one.
(BTW _ I was never a big fan of Le Batard as a columnist or TV personality, but the guy was one of the best feature writers I've ever come across. If you're into that kind of writing you may want to check out his old stuff).
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
Listening to the post interview: Taylor was asked again: "u think Saban will try another stint at the Nfl??"
-Taylor: no way. Why would he?
Lebatard: because he has an ego!
Taylor: he can stroke his ego as he wins a 3 title in 4 years! And could continue this! He can control who he gets in the program. You need a franchise qb? Well Nick can go get the top 3 qbs in the next class. He is working on history.
after saban left the interview, la batard asked Taylor if he thought Saban would ever go back to the NFL and Taylor quickly said no.
Excellent interview! Thanks for the heads up, Travis. (EDIT: just saw the long write-up)
My cliff notes:
- Saban responded many times to the many questions of "why/how he left Miami". He hated the way it was handled and will always have regrets but feels he learned a lot from the experience and has always tried to do the right thing.
- Saban saved some of his highest praise for Wayne Huizenga. Put him up there with his parents as people he respected.
- Saban downplayed the idea of coming back to the NFL. He had already mentioned they his move to Alabama was very good for his family. He mentioned the "personal self gratification" that comes with helping 18-22 year old's develop athletically and academically and also mentioned how you could impact a community (talked about the tornadoes). He then said he "wasn't a spring chicken anymore" and didn't have many moves left in him. Said that he would love to stay and finish up at Alabama if given the opportunity. He also mentioned how appreciative he was of the institution and athletic dept for the buy in they've had to him.
- Talked glowingly about Taylor for his leadership and how he was one of the core guys to buy into Saban's philosophy. Taylor spoke highly of Saban in return. At the end of the interview he gave Saban a "roll tide" and wished him well in the game and let on like he would be pulling for Bama. I'm still listening and Taylor is still talking very favorably about Saban. They just asked him if he thought Saban would be back in the NFL and he said firmly "No, why would he?" They replied with "ego?" and Taylor said "well he can stroke his ego winning championships at Alabama."
- They are going nuts right now about how open Saban was in the interviewing talking about how they were surprised that he didn't shut them down.
- Now they are really talking about the fact that Saban chose Brees and didn't pass the physical. And also how Huizenga told Saban when he got him from LSU that he should come to the Dolphins and if he didn't like he could leave. And they are talking about how it makes more sense now.
This post was edited by BamaBleach 16 months ago
Its his idea. Hes the absolute man. Always 2 moves ahead.
I Ain't got no Worries - Lebron James
Great response by Taylor. Hard to argue with it even if you are a hater.
Great Job TR! CNS is still undefeated in 1on 1 interviews!
I agree. Saban returning to Miami could have been a huge media distraction. By Saban taking the initiative and being proactive in addressing the issues, it should help quell any media storm that might have been created with his return to Miami.
Plus letting Lebatard do the interview you let one of the leaders of the anti-Saban crowd already take his punches (plus he gets to use his interview for the next two-three weeks as a reference, so that'll stroke his own ego a little) - two birds, one stone... just another reason why CNS and his people are the best in the biz
Good job Travis
Follow me http://twitter.com/TimWatts_BOL
To continue what they Lebatard and Stugotz are taking about: they are receiving mass emails that they were too easy on Saban... Lebatard response:
Saban was polite, contrite, professional and answered questions I thought he would never have even thought about answering.
Then Dan Leb says: you know what guys... You know what Saban just did? He just got any 4 or 5* recruit in south fla who wasn't looking at Bama in the next couple recruiting classes... They are gonna wanna play for Saban! So, he comes on my show, he's incredibly professional, he's contrite and now, any player I had hoped would go to Miami... Forget it! He's going to Bama.
Yep, no surprise that he chose the show that has the tie to Taylor, whom Saban obviously still has a great relationship with.
The Brees story has been out there for a while, so I was surprised that a local guy was unaware of how that all went down. I was told three or four years ago that a good way to get a volcanic eruption-like reaction from Saban is to mention to him how the Dolphin medical staff failed Brees. Haha!
This interview coupled with Jason Taylor being there... (because Saban only would agree to be on as long as Taylor was) this whole thing was really amazing and could now put to rest all the hatred these media clowns have created.
Jason Taylor is beloved down here folks. He's Johnny Dolphin. And he was so adament about how great Saban is not only as a football coach, but as a person... The fans may eventually be able to let it go.
Taylor said Ricky Williams also has a ton of love for Coach Saban...
And right before Taylor left the show he said "i know I'm gonna piss the south fla people off by saying this...but I have to say it... (everyone gets quiet).... "ROLL TIDE!!.... I have to say it... roll tide roll!! I have to root for Bama!! roll Tide!! Try it... Say it Dan!"
Dan wouldn't but everyone was laughing and really seemed to enjoy all that had transpired today.
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