Fortunately for Nick Saban, the problem he has at Alabama can always be solved when you have studs lined up at every position.
The Alabama Crimson Tide won a lot of football games over the past several years, and with all those wins came a sense of entitlement. When athletes get entitled, it zaps all the hunger, drive and physicality that some teams are built on. According to coach Saban, the Tide lost their identity and that physicality last year.
“Alabama football’s supposed to be a tough, physical team that nobody really likes to play against,” Saban said. “That’s been our identity. We’ve lost that identity a little bit, I think, the way we finished the year last year. That’s something that we’ve got to get back, and it’s hard, and you really can’t make it easy.”
Saban had no problem acknowledging what it would take to get that identity back.
“You have to start all over to reestablish it,” Saban said. “It’s not easy. It’s not easy. It’s difficult. It’s tough. To have the psychological toughness to sustain the season to play the kind of football that we’ve won playing around here, you have to pound. You have to pound your hand in the sand until it’s tough enough to go through it.
“I don’t know that we ever paid that price last year, and I think it’s important that our players understand why we do the things we do so they can make it through the season and play the kind of football that we want to play.”