What Spann Asked Saban on ‘Hey Coach’ Thursday
Nick Saban and Eli Gold were joined by renowned weather guru James Spann on the radio version of “The Nick Saban Show” Thursday.
Before Saban arrived, Spann called him a ‘weather dweeb’ and a “weather nerd.” Spann was not undercutting the coach but merely underscoring the fact that Saban knows the effect weather can have on games. The two speak weekly prior to kick-off.
Following is a summary of the highlights once the coach sat down.
“We call him on numerous occasions. He’s the official weather forecaster of Alabama football,” Saban said of the meteorologist.
Gold informed Saban of the passing of Dick Butkus. “Great player. Legendary. He made the linebacker position what it is,” Saban said, adding that Butkus came to campus personally each time a Tide player won the Butkus Award.
Spann asked Saban about the backstory of Ms. Terry telling him to get on players.
“Maybe as I’ve gotten older is I’m probably not as volatile as I used to be. I’ve been a little laid back.
“I got a lecture about showing more intensity on the sidelines about when players don’t do what they’re supposed to do.
“I still care about the players. I encourage them about the things they have to do to be successful. It takes certain kind of habits.
“Different guys respond different ways. It’s a challenge to get guys to do the things they need to do.”
Saban added that a pair of team psychiatrists help him know how to deal with different personality types on the team.
As usual, first caller “PeeWee” asked about the offensive line, specifically Kadyn Proctor. “He played the best he has last week.
“This week these guys have a couple of really good pass rushers. They’re going to create some one-on-one situations where everybody has got to block someone.
“We’ve got to do some things to help [Proctor]. It’s important we have a solid pocket in this game.
“Both of our left tackles are making progress. Kadyn has a lot of upside. We’ve just got to help him keep getting better.”
Spann asked about the Jalen Milroe injury rumor on social media.
Saban: “I never associated being the quality meterologis you are having to do with social media. I’m not on social media. I don’t see it.”
[Saban never answered the injury question, but sources said Milroe took first team reps at both Wednesday and Thursday practices.]
Gold pointed out to Saban that many football players volunteer at the Community Soup Bowl.
“We try to promote with our players to have compassion for other people,” Saban replied. “I think it’s good for them.”
Spann asked Saban to recount how the Tuscaloosa tornado of 2011 affected him.
“Probably the thing I remember most is… All the millions of dollars we spent helping people was important, but it was most important to have a presence and be there… for the homeless to have somebody to talk to.”
Asked by a fan about the rivalry with the Aggies, Saban said, “They have great tradition. The rivalry is because they have a good program, a good coach and a good team.
“We have rivalries with lots of people. It’s because of the importance of the games.”
Another fan asked about the growth of the defense: “Our defense has done well. The biggest thing … is when they play with intensity with a high level and communicste. You can never relax as a competitor.”
Saban told Spann he ws not interested in being Speaker of the House, and that Kevin McCarthy had been nice to him on his D.C. trips.
Spann warned Saban of a partial eclipse during the second quarter of next week’s Arkansas game.
“We try to get players not to focus on external factors,” Saban said. “You may have to coach me up on this distraction.”
For Saban’s weekly “Final Word” he said to fans, “The challenges you have define you as a person and a competitor. We’re playing in a tough place to play. Being positive with our players is really important. Appreciate what these guys are trying to do.”
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