"I didn't come to Alabama to win 10 games a year and be a contender. I came here to win championships. Conference championships and national championships. I love it here because that's just not what I want, but what this fanbase expects."
--Alabama Head Football Coach, Nick Saban
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will spend it’s whole life believing it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein
The only way I know to explain the 'zone' is a focus so intense you are totally unaware of what's happening around you. My first 'zone' moment was as a pitcher. I was scheduled to pitch but woke up with a severe pinched nerve. Nothing I tried helped alleviate the pain so just before game time I told the coach I couldn't go.
Long story short he insisted that I try to pitch anyway you know gut it out, take one for the team. When the game was over, I didn't even know it was over, the score keeper came running up to me wanting to shake my hand and saying congratulations you pitched a perfect game.
I don't know if Mettenberger was in the 'zone' but the way he stood in the pocket oblivious to the hit he was about to take and delivering almost perfect throws would indicate something he'd never done before that night.
I believe M. Jordan described "the zone" as everything slowing down.
I think he's the first to ever use the term, but maybe the slowing down part was someone else's description but it seems to fit if you've every personally experience it.
I played basketball on every level except pee-wee and the pros and I only experienced the zone one time...just once and it was against the best defensive player that ever guarded me.
One day ZM will probably say that about the Bama defense and the night he had against it. Just glad he didn't win
We shut down 9/10 of the QBs we play. It's always gonna seem out of whack when that one guy does well.
I think a lot of it, if not most of it, is from confidence.
I am guessing that LSU's gameplan was much more specific than any other game this year. They had probably practiced that game plan more than for any other game. They had probably pored over Bama's defense much more than any other opponent. Simply put, he felt better about his ability coming into this game than any other game this season by a good margin.
Then, after a few successes, he really developed confidence.
Confidence goes a long way in competitive sports. Not an emotional, rah-rah, confidence. But, instead, a "Yeah, I know what I'm doing," confidence that comes through preparation. Basically, part of the reason we are so successful - practice and preparation producing confidence.
I don't know if this has been mentioned but I think motivation is a big thing. Obviously LSU had the motivation from last season and when we played SC that was revenge for Ingram destroying their defense they year before and basically putting him in the lead for the Heisman. Also, both teams had an off week and the fan bases were absolutely crazy. They were very similar situations.
i dont think ZM is a bad QB at all. I think the issue with LSU, as well as last season is the simple, vanilla offense they run. with that extra week off they obviously worked on adding some things to the passing game instead of being totally vanilla like normal. I dont expect them to continue. They will probably go back to that offense now.
My best explanation of the "Garcia Moment" is that it is when a QB finally trusts his instincts along with his receivers & no longer plays timid or afraid of making mistakes. It's the gunslinger mentality that we saw in AJ during the championship game versus the AJ that we saw in the regular season loss to LSU. He admitted that he was tight and did not go out there to play to win.
I think this mentality is what separates great NFL QB's from the average ones. The QB's that excel not only are students of the game, but they trust their receivers, make throws before the breaks and before a receiver is wide open. They anticipate what the receiver will do and where the defender will be in relation to the throw. They understand where to place the ball so that only their receiver can get it or they just trust that he will make the play. Dan Marino used to say that there is no defense against a perfect pass.
When you have the "I've got nothing to lose" mentality, I think you tend to throw caution to the wind and sling the ball. They probably tend to make more throws that they would normally shy away from and check down to a safer option. That's why I fear those backup QB's that get the call when the starter goes down. Sometimes they can come and light folks up.
Eh, it happens... One was almost all game long. Someone had an Elway moment in about 43 seconds.