“… we were leading, but we weren’t leading.”

You know what makes Nick Saban such a good coach?  He doesn’t let ego get in the way of figuring out what went wrong.

To better understand how Ohio State attacked the typically stout Alabama defense, Nick Saban brought in Houston head coach and former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman to breakdown how he approached attacking the Tide’s defense.

“I’ll tell you the best thing we did, and I give Coach (Nick) Saban a lot credit, we went directly to (Herman). We flew him in. We said “Hey, look, we want to meet with you. You know us better than anybody. You spent four weeks getting ready for us. What’s our tendencies? What do we do wrong? What do you think?’ And he was honest with us, he just told us what he thought. It was very valuable for us.”

I can think of more than a few who would never be willing to do something like that.

(h/t)

24 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

24 responses to ““… we were leading, but we weren’t leading.”

  1. hassan

    Haters gonna hate, but you have to respect the focus, drive, and level of attention Saban gives to the job.

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  2. PTC DAWG

    Only the Coach changing jobs made this even remotely possible. No way he does it if he was still at Oh St.

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  3. I Wanna Red Cup

    Well wait a damn minute. This is the third time today. Kirby Smart is saying in this article that the Alabama (?!?!?!?) coaches, did not have their players prepared to play??They were 9 + point underdogs to an inferior team that crapped the bed at home against a mediocre VA tech team, and their players underestimated a third string QB in THE FIRST EVER CFB PLAYOFF!!!!!!! My god, what underachieving, unfocused head coach could let that happen in the first ever playoff semi final??????? It can’t be that OSU was better or better prepared? Nicky crapped the bed in his big boy pants!!!!!

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    • I still blame that goof ball Lame Kitten for not just Running the ball with Henry. RTDB would have shut the OSU clowns up and we wouldn’t be listening to the on Finebaum. Bama fans are intolerable, but OSU fans take it much further.

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  4. What went wrong was that Bama played one of the worst games on defense I can remember in the Saban era. Some here may even say they “soiled the bed” and would have certainly said that if OSU’s opponent had been Georgia.

    Even with all of that, if Junior had ridden his running game and dominant offensive line, Alabama likely wins the game late.

    Give Saban credit. He sees his defense is having trouble defending spread attacks and wants to get it fixed.

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    • His 5 and 4 star Defensive Backs (whom I think he was directly coaching) got schooled both in that game and several times against Missouri. Bama, the place where 5 star DBs go to become mediocre.

      BTW, I read somewhere that that they finally hired a replacement for Saban – as a defensive back coach.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Yep, Saban recognizes a problem exists and looks for a solution. He doesn’t blame “execution” or deny the problem, he seeks a solution even if it means bringing in someone from outside. Some coaches would continue to do the same thing over and over and hope the results got better.

      I agree about Kiffen and the running game. However, Saban could have and should have gotten on the headset and told Kiffen “run the damn ball”. It is all ultimately the head coach’s responsibility, that’s why he makes the big bucks, accountability.

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    • Macallanlover

      ee, that defense was exposed long before the ohio team did it. Auburn almost ran up fiddy against them in Tusky. That was a weak Bama team last year, maybe as “gettable” as any in the past 5 years. They may still have some secondary issues this season but the front 7 group looks rock solid.

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      • True but they looked slow and not fundamentally sound against TattooU

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      • Mayor

        Just another reason why UGA should have won the East. Georgia would have beaten Bama in the SECCG, IMHO. We lost a really big chance.

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        • Macallanlover

          Agree, we would have been a tough out for them. That is why the goal always has to be to win the East as no further goal can be reached without that. Not getting to Atlanta last year and 2007 probably cost us two SEC titles.

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          • Cosmic Dawg

            Wait a minute – you just typed “agree” in response to the Mayor!
            Aren’t you feeling well, Mac?
            😉

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  5. Can you imagine old Coach Grantham wanting to get anyone else’s opinion on his defense? lol – Pruitt, otoh, would do this in a heart beat. The man is smart and driven.

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  6. 3rdandGrantham

    As much as it pains me to type this, that is absolutely beautiful. Its things like this that make Saban one of the all-time greats in CFB. As mentioned, the true great ones, while certainly holding a rather large ego, still are comfortable enough in their own skin to look themselves in the mirror, admit fault, and also admit that they certainly don’t have all the answers. Thy also rarely make excuses.

    The mediocre types and worse (and this goes for the general public too) often refuse to admit mistakes or when they’re wrong, while making all sorts of excuses in the process. For some strange reason, Chuck “the chest” Amato’s disastrous reign at NCST comes to mind, as after a home loss to some lowly school (Ball St. or someone similar), he said that they (the other team) had an unfair advantage as they allow Juco’s, while NCST doesn’t. No surprise that he didn’t last much longer after that.

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  7. Todd

    Bear Bryant did it.

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  8. Sashko

    Seriously. You have to respect a man that beholdened to knowing the truth. That takes some serious courage and communicates volumes to your organization. I am impressed Nick Saban.

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  9. Charles

    Keep in mind that a little over a year ago, bro was lobbying the NCAA to slow down the speed of play because Gus Malzahn pantsed him in the Iron Bowl.

    Better to look inward than lobby outward, I guess.

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  10. PansyTheDawg

    Saban will do anything to win. Never doubt that.

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  11. Dog in Fla

    @PTC DAWG July 2, 2015 at 2:32 PM
    “Only the Coach changing jobs made this even remotely possible. No way he does it if he was still at Oh St.”

    Irwin will never forget Herman giving aid and comfort to the enemy:

    “That wasn’t right. It was a bad deal. We’ll handle it and it’s going to be a big deal.”

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  12. It was that play, 1st Q, when Jones ripped free from the arms of a defender, you knew it’d be a long night.

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  13. Bulldog Joe

    It looked simple to me.

    Ohio State’s quarterback was a beast. No one in the middle of Alabama’s defense could tackle him one on one. When Alabama cheated to the inside, Ohio State blocked down and gave it to Elliott off tackle.

    It was Cam Newton II.

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