ESPN article - Saban and the Bama QB problem

TideEngineer08

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It's pretty simple isn't it? You can't promote everyone! So either every single guy ends up being the offensive or defensive coordinator or they leave, that's just how it tends to work.

Alabama coaches rarely leave for lateral moves, but at the same time every coaching position at Alabama is filled by someone right? Is the solution to every single departure to just promote from within?

Part of the problem is Saban has strict limits on his coaching staff size at Alabama, so he can only ever offer a finite amount of spots. However, all the other coaches out there, including former Alabama guys who are head coaches now (Kiffin, Sark, Smart, etc...) have an equal number of slots.

Just do the math, there will always be more room to move up outside of Alabama than within the staff at Alabama. There's no way to even remotely address that without the NCAA allowing Alabama to retain as many coaches as they want. Then, in theory Saban can go ok, Alex, here's an on field position because we really want to keep you around.

But, just consider what happened. Alex went from an analyst for several years to offensive coordinator at UAB! Are you suggesting Alex get promoted to offensive coordinator at Alabama after never holding anything higher than wide receivers coach at a semi-pro team?

You just can't do anything about that went there are dozens of coaches out there looking to poach Saban's staff and you can't even open up more on field coaching positions due to draconian NCAA rules.
I am suggesting his inability to retain staff at the position coach level is a major reason why the play has been so subpar going on three years now with this season being the absolute worst.

I am also suggesting that several of these guys left for lateral moves. That has not been "rare." As a position coach if you are not leaving for a coordinator role, you're not taking a step up by leaving Alabama.

That's my opinion.
 

Cruloc

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Best way I can describe this team is.....a house of cards.

We may come out and blow the doors off Ole Miss.....or them blow the doors off of us. I don't think there is an in between. However, that trip the A&M.....I don't know.
 

colbysullivan

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From the article.

"A former SEC coach said Milroe simply isn't skilled enough in the short-to-intermediate passing game, which is what Alabama needs to keep defenses honest."

"That's not all. Alex Mortensen, the analyst and behind-the-scenes QB guru who spent nine seasons at Alabama, left in December to join the new staff at UAB. On Monday, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of Mortensen, "He was at Alabama behind all the offenses -- worked with Bill O'Brien, worked with Sark, was there when I was there. I have a lot of respect for Alex."
1695150456298.gif
 

KrAzY3

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I am suggesting his inability to retain staff at the position coach level is a major reason why the play has been so subpar going on three years now with this season being the absolute worst.

I am also suggesting that several of these guys left for lateral moves. That has not been "rare." As a position coach if you are not leaving for a coordinator role, you're not taking a step up by leaving Alabama.

That's my opinion.
You literally replied to someone leaving an analyst position to become an offensive coordinator elsewhere. There's no universe where that's a lateral move.

There haven't been many lateral moves and when they have occurred, they've generally been lacking, such as Pete Golding. Do we really want Pete and BoB back, is that the complaint?

Just Georgia alone poached and promoted several Alabama guys. To pretend that's something wrong with what Saban is doing is hard to fathom. They took raises and went higher up the totem pole, who wouldn't?

Off the top of my head Smart has promoted 3 former Alabama guys to the defensive coordinator position at Georgia, something Saban couldn't do while he had Pete around. Now if you are suggesting he fire Pete sooner and promote one of them, well I'm not going to argue with you but point being those weren't lateral moves. Of course in the case of Mel Tucker, Saban had a better replacement in Pruitt, only Pruitt got poached and promoted by Tennessee.

How about Sark? Kyle Flood was promoted from offensive line coach at Alabama to offensive coordinator at Texas. I'd wager our offensive line would be better with Flood but he left for a major promotion. The same with A.J. Milwee who went from an analyst to QB coach at Texas, and even Jeff Banks got a promotion as he was named assistant head coach by Sark.

So that's 6 examples (well 7 counting Pruitt) from just two teams of guys getting poached and promoted. Yes that's an issue, but I'm not sure what on earth Saban is supposed to do about it when he can't make everyone offensive and defensive coordinator. Furthermore, if you count Alex there are 8 examples of poaching and promoted and 3 of them occurred at 3 different schools from an off-field position to a hard capped by the NCAA on field position.

I'm with you in saying yes, Glenn Shumann, Alex Mortensen, and A.J. Milwee should have had on-field coaching roles at Alabama. Absolutely, only there's just no way logistically to do that due to the hard cap. Now, two of them are offensive coordinators and one is a defensive coordinator. So he didn't have room for them and he can't promote every single coach to coordinator either.

Just look around college football to see how many former employees are coordinators or head coaches, that's where the drain occurred... I can't even keep up with them, it's what around 10 head coaches currently and I just named 4 different guys who got promoted to coordinator. That's an absurd about of people to replace.
 
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Joefus

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From the article.

"A former SEC coach said Milroe simply isn't skilled enough in the short-to-intermediate passing game, which is what Alabama needs to keep defenses honest."

"That's not all. Alex Mortensen, the analyst and behind-the-scenes QB guru who spent nine seasons at Alabama, left in December to join the new staff at UAB. On Monday, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of Mortensen, "He was at Alabama behind all the offenses -- worked with Bill O'Brien, worked with Sark, was there when I was there. I have a lot of respect for Alex."
After they fire dilfer maybe we can get him back
 

KrAzY3

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I just don't have the patience to read through that, Krazy. Sorry, maybe another day.
Well, TLDR is I could probably name two dozen former Saban employees at Alabama that not only left for a promotion but recently held coordinator or head coach positions. Yes it's a brain drain, no there's no way on earth to combat that.

I could have made it several times longer but I mainly stuck to just the poaching that two schools did.

If it's too much to read, imagine trying to deal with it occurring since I was just listing a tiny bit of what happened.
 

TideEngineer08

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Well, TLDR is I could probably name two dozen former Saban employees at Alabama that not only left for a promotion but recently held coordinator or head coach positions. Yes it's a brain drain, no there's no way on earth to combat that.

I could have made it several times longer but I mainly stuck to just the poaching that two schools did.

If it's too much to read, imagine trying to deal with it occurring since I was just listing a tiny bit of what happened.
I'll come back and read it and try to respond. Just wanted you to know I wasn't blowing it off.
 
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AlexanderFan

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Well, TLDR is I could probably name two dozen former Saban employees at Alabama that not only left for a promotion but recently held coordinator or head coach positions. Yes it's a brain drain, no there's no way on earth to combat that.

I could have made it several times longer but I mainly stuck to just the poaching that two schools did.

If it's too much to read, imagine trying to deal with it occurring since I was just listing a tiny bit of what happened.
You could probably put together a staff that could recruit, develop, and coach circles around Saban and the current staff.

He has an eye for talent to be sure. Look what our linebackers coach did to Tennessee last weekend.
 
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TideEngineer08

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Well, TLDR is I could probably name two dozen former Saban employees at Alabama that not only left for a promotion but recently held coordinator or head coach positions. Yes it's a brain drain, no there's no way on earth to combat that.

I could have made it several times longer but I mainly stuck to just the poaching that two schools did.

If it's too much to read, imagine trying to deal with it occurring since I was just listing a tiny bit of what happened.
Perhaps let me rephrase my complaint in this case since I guess I'm wrong that most guys did not take a true promotion.

My complaint would be it seems Nick Saban's staff gets poached way too often (which I get because he's the best).
 

TraskiTideFan

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WOW. Its a good thing the internet and sports forums weren't a thing in the 60's, 70's, and early 80's. The transitions that occurred during Coach Bryant's time at the Capstone would have drove us all over the edge and probably made some of our heads explode collectively. To paraphrase a great SciFi series...."All this has happened before and all this will happen again.":unsure:
 

Bamabuzzard

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WOW. Its a good thing the internet and sports forums weren't a thing in the 60's, 70's, and early 80's. The transitions that occurred during Coach Bryant's time at the Capstone would have drove us all over the edge and probably made some of our heads explode collectively. To paraphrase a great SciFi series...."All this has happened before and all this will happen again.":unsure:
Well, let's be fair, a fanbase who has gotten used to winning as many titles as we have and had the success we have had (over a decade) doesn't really want to turn it loose with a shoulder shrug.
 
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shaggy

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Yeah our qb's are not as good as the prior 4. But they would all be better if the center could deliver a proper snap and if the OL would provide some protection. I think the OL is our biggest problem and we have a lot of issues on offense. Receivers are not as good, running back production not as good, and as well all know, OL and QB -- not as good. And maybe schemes and play calling not as good. Not sure about that.
 

TideEngineer08

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You literally replied to someone leaving an analyst position to become an offensive coordinator elsewhere. There's no universe where that's a lateral move.

There haven't been many lateral moves and when they have occurred, they've generally been lacking, such as Pete Golding. Do we really want Pete and BoB back, is that the complaint?

Just Georgia alone poached and promoted several Alabama guys. To pretend that's something wrong with what Saban is doing is hard to fathom. They took raises and went higher up the totem pole, who wouldn't?

Off the top of my head Smart has promoted 3 former Alabama guys to the defensive coordinator position at Georgia, something Saban couldn't do while he had Pete around. Now if you are suggesting he fire Pete sooner and promote one of them, well I'm not going to argue with you but point being those weren't lateral moves. Of course in the case of Mel Tucker, Saban had a better replacement in Pruitt, only Pruitt got poached and promoted by Tennessee.

How about Sark? Kyle Flood was promoted from offensive line coach at Alabama to offensive coordinator at Texas. I'd wager our offensive line would be better with Flood but he left for a major promotion. The same with A.J. Milwee who went from an analyst to QB coach at Texas, and even Jeff Banks got a promotion as he was named assistant head coach by Sark.

So that's 6 examples (well 7 counting Pruitt) from just two teams of guys getting poached and promoted. Yes that's an issue, but I'm not sure what on earth Saban is supposed to do about it when he can't make everyone offensive and defensive coordinator. Furthermore, if you count Alex there are 8 examples of poaching and promoted and 3 of them occurred at 3 different schools from an off-field position to a hard capped by the NCAA on field position.

I'm with you in saying yes, Glenn Shumann, Alex Mortensen, and A.J. Milwee should have had on-field coaching roles at Alabama. Absolutely, only there's just no way logistically to do that due to the hard cap. Now, two of them are offensive coordinators and one is a defensive coordinator. So he didn't have room for them and he can't promote every single coach to coordinator either.

Just look around college football to see how many former employees are coordinators or head coaches, that's where the drain occurred... I can't even keep up with them, it's what around 10 head coaches currently and I just named 4 different guys who got promoted to coordinator. That's an absurd about of people to replace.
Ok I’m going to respond. First I apologize. It was a busy day and I should not have been posting while under the influence of work.

First paragraph: I wasn’t referring to Mortensen with the lateral move, I was just using him as a launching point. It’s disappointing to lose him but he had to take that job.

Second: absolutely not! But dare I say… I’m questioning whether we upgraded at OC. :oops:

Third and really the rest of your post: I did not mean to insinuate Coach Saban was doing anything wrong. Merely expressing disappointment at how so many of these talented assistants seemed to be gone after a short period of time. Seemed being operative here; some guys were with us for several seasons.

But guys like Flood, who I was wrong about - I didn’t remember he got the OC tag at Texas. I thought it was a straight OL coach to OL coach move. But losing those kinds of guys has hurt so badly.

It was not a critique of Saban so much as it was an expression of frustration. The game has changed so much. Coach Bryant had assistants that were with him for 20+ years.

Your point is valid and I exaggerated ignorantly. But I’m still concerned about the brain drain that’s simply a fact of our current situation.
 

bamaga

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My glass half full response to this is MAYBE this is just a case of "bad luck" or timing.

Each year, going all the way back to John Parker Wilson and Greg McElroy (who were both recruited by Mike Shula), we've ALWAYS had a guy waiting in the wings.

*After JPW, there was GMac.
*After GMac, there was AJM.
*After AJM, there was Sims and Coker (granted this was a bumpy time) but it worked itself out in a NC under Coker in 2015).
*After Coker, there was Hurts.
*After Hurts, there was Tua (and Hurts again).
*After Tua, there was Mac.
*After Mac, there was Bryce.

Now here we are with no "heir apparent" and perhaps it was bad luck, poor development, poor Covid evaluations or just a combination of them all.

But, (here's glass half full take) maybe we are just a year off from the next great one in Julian Sayin.

Sayin, if you are reading you are NEEDED!!!
We had guys recruited, if they stuck, Drake Maye or Carson Beck would be starting, they decommitted because of Bryce, there was another, can’t remember his name. . Taulia would also still be here if not for the transfer portal. Different time, Jalen Milroe was Sarkisian’s recuit, TS was a Covid recruit.
 

editder

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You literally replied to someone leaving an analyst position to become an offensive coordinator elsewhere. There's no universe where that's a lateral move.

There haven't been many lateral moves and when they have occurred, they've generally been lacking, such as Pete Golding. Do we really want Pete and BoB back, is that the complaint?

Just Georgia alone poached and promoted several Alabama guys. To pretend that's something wrong with what Saban is doing is hard to fathom. They took raises and went higher up the totem pole, who wouldn't?

Off the top of my head Smart has promoted 3 former Alabama guys to the defensive coordinator position at Georgia, something Saban couldn't do while he had Pete around. Now if you are suggesting he fire Pete sooner and promote one of them, well I'm not going to argue with you but point being those weren't lateral moves. Of course in the case of Mel Tucker, Saban had a better replacement in Pruitt, only Pruitt got poached and promoted by Tennessee.

How about Sark? Kyle Flood was promoted from offensive line coach at Alabama to offensive coordinator at Texas. I'd wager our offensive line would be better with Flood but he left for a major promotion. The same with A.J. Milwee who went from an analyst to QB coach at Texas, and even Jeff Banks got a promotion as he was named assistant head coach by Sark.

So that's 6 examples (well 7 counting Pruitt) from just two teams of guys getting poached and promoted. Yes that's an issue, but I'm not sure what on earth Saban is supposed to do about it when he can't make everyone offensive and defensive coordinator. Furthermore, if you count Alex there are 8 examples of poaching and promoted and 3 of them occurred at 3 different schools from an off-field position to a hard capped by the NCAA on field position.

I'm with you in saying yes, Glenn Shumann, Alex Mortensen, and A.J. Milwee should have had on-field coaching roles at Alabama. Absolutely, only there's just no way logistically to do that due to the hard cap. Now, two of them are offensive coordinators and one is a defensive coordinator. So he didn't have room for them and he can't promote every single coach to coordinator either.

Just look around college football to see how many former employees are coordinators or head coaches, that's where the drain occurred... I can't even keep up with them, it's what around 10 head coaches currently and I just named 4 different guys who got promoted to coordinator. That's an absurd about of people to replace.
The bigger issue to me is that we seem to no longer have the ability to attract top assistants. We’ve always had turnover, but until recently there was a pipeline of quality folks eager to take their place.
 

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