ESPN article - Saban and the Bama QB problem

81usaf92

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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 problem is that after 2018 the type of people seeking Saban for help and the type of guys Saban started looking for both changed. Everyone thinks Saban and Alabama sale themselves to the brightest minds. They don’t… the fallout and the very public exposure of the 2018 exodus really turned alot of very bright minds away from Bama. Yeah Sark came in 2019, but he knew having Tua for 2019 and Mac or Bryce for 2020 was going to be worth an upgrade in jobs.

My point is that this is more of people seeing alternatives to Saban producing the same career results with far less stress.
 

Tenntiderman

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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.
CNS did go after Schumann did he not? I mean as a Defensive Coordinator?
 
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KrAzY3

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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.
i find the situation frustrating as well, but I blame part of this on the hard cap for coaches. I'm not even sure when that went into affect, a quick search hasn't revealed anything. However, I think if Saban could put more of these guys that he finds into on field positions, he'd be better able to evaluate, develop, and promote from within. For instance imagine Saban with 18 on field coaches instead of 10, it would make a huge difference. Of course that's why they have the rule, to keep someone like Saban from doing that.

The other aspect is the amount of head coaches that Saban has produced becomes a huge issue when it comes to keeping staff. It's hard to keep these guys around when 10 new slots suddenly open up and their immediate superior is offering them a promotion.

I think we both agree it's a huge issue and really a remarkable obstacle to try to overcome.

CNS did go after Schumann did he not? I mean as a Defensive Coordinator?
His name did come up, but it's hard to say for sure.

He is a perfect example of the problem with the situation, due to the hard cap he spent several years at Alabama with an off-field position. He was at Alabama from 2008 to 2014, but there can only ever be 10 on field coaches so until a position opened up on Smart's staff there wasn't a position available for him. Ironically with the departure of Smart and Tucker there might have been one available, but Smart kind of gets to strike first since he knows who he's hiring before Saban does.

This gets into the second part of this, which is that the offensive and defensive coordinators respectively have a better chance of getting to know their subordinates than Saban does. He was working closely with Smart, so Smart understood his capabilities and when he had 10 open slots it wasn't very hard to find one for Schumann.

Edit: I would add that one reason Saban probably stuck with Golding for so long is he was desperately trying to develop another one of those long-lasting relationships that he could build around. The problem is that the only reason Golding didn't leave for a head coaching job is because no one wanted him, unlike virtually every other coordinator Alabama had the past several years.
 

HighlandOak

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I don't know much about the author, but there were 2 glaring mistakes of fact in the article, that could easily cause someone to doubt his reporting.
 

B1GTide

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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.
Alabama is a stepping stone job for coaches under Saban. That lack of continuity hurts, but it hurts more as time passes and fewer really talented coaches remain for Saban to pull into his circle.

Saban has already picked over the best out there, including some rehab projects. All that remain are young guys who will take time to develop.
 

crimsonaudio

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I’m still concerned about the brain drain that’s simply a fact of our current situation.
I've seen some of the most upright, balanced, successful people in the world lose perspective over time after being told how awesome they are. Not saying that's where Saban is, but when you're told you're the GOAT all day every day for years, it's human nature to start to believe it.
 

GrayTide

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Which SEC schools have new starting QBs. Of these 6 teams 4 got their new starter via the transfer portal. Only Alabama's and Georgia's QB were recruited, signed, and waited their turn. Did CNS believe the QB position was satisfactory and realIze after spring practice that we did not have the answer at QB. As someone said, by then the best QBs available had already secured their transfers.We will sink or swim with what we have.
Alabama
Georgia
Auburn
Florida
Tennessee
Kentucky
 

irvingtontide

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Heard a lot of the same about Hurts, and he ended up doing ok.
Hopefully milroe becomes as successful as hurts did. Let’s remember tho hurts was further along then Jalen as a freshman. Hurts played more conservative to make sure and not turn the ball over. It also took him two years starting and a year of being benched before hurts developed into what he was at Oklahoma. He had Lincoln Riley for his last year in college. Milroe has a whole lot less time than hurts did to turn things around. He is already in his third year and by this point hurts had eclipsed milroe by a mile.
 
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davefrat

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Which SEC schools have new starting QBs. Of these 6 teams 4 got their new starter via the transfer portal. Only Alabama's and Georgia's QB were recruited, signed, and waited their turn. Did CNS believe the QB position was satisfactory and realIze after spring practice that we did not have the answer at QB. As someone said, by then the best QBs available had already secured their transfers.We will sink or swim with what we have.
Alabama
Georgia
Auburn
Florida
Tennessee
Kentucky
No doubt we have to dance with the one we brought.

That said, I found the Buchner transfer odd and a bit concerning when it happened.

After hearing Saban's comments about his progress last week, and after seeing his performance on Saturday, I find it even more odd and concerning.

I said this before the TX game and I'll say it again about Ole Miss...we'll know a lot more about where things stand after the game on Saturday.

I can't remember the last time I felt so much uncertainty about our team.
 

KrAzY3

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Saban has already picked over the best out there, including some rehab projects. All that remain are young guys who will take time to develop.
Unfortunately Saban chose a young guy with a drinking problem, otherwise that might have worked out a lot better as well. Smart had 3 years working under Saban before he became a DC, Pruitt had six years. It was logically to think Golding would only improve and grow into the role, only he didn't and that was a big blow.

Furthermore, a few factors have prevented the normal cycle of some coaches failing and then returning, for instance in a different reality Pruitt and Sark are the coordinators right now, how different would that team look?

So, honestly aside from the factors working against him, one could argue he's also just had a run of bad luck.
Which SEC schools have new starting QBs. Of these 6 teams 4 got their new starter via the transfer portal. Only Alabama's and Georgia's QB were recruited, signed, and waited their turn. Did CNS believe the QB position was satisfactory and realIze after spring practice that we did not have the answer at QB.
I think Saban wants to do things the old way, I mean it's one reason he's a college guy and not an NFL guy right? He doesn't just want to just sign free agents, he wants to develop players. But in the NIL era that might be what he has to do. Imagine Alabama right now if Hartman was the QB...
That said, I found the Buchner transfer odd and a bit concerning when it happened.
I think I said at the time that it was a bad sign. It seemed like too little too late and that's what it's amounted to. A more proactive Alabama gets Hartman (or someone of his ilk) in the spring, instead a flat footed Alabama get Buchner in the spring. Big, big difference when we're talking about who is playing this season.
 

CB4

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I think this will become the new world of CFB with the transfer portal and NIL. Each year you can probably expect, between graduation,/transfers out and recruiting/transfers in, a 40% or more turnover in the roster. Not only will coaches need to re-recruit players to stay, they’ll need to evaluate/anticipate where outages could be and areas where the probability of current player development may be suspect. (Like we are currently experiencing at QB).

I’m beginning to wonder if we are about see an end to the periods of long term sustained success (ie: “the dynasties”) by the historical college footbal blue bloods. I can see a time coming where no longer does a coach need 5 or 6 years to “build a program” through recruiting. With a few significant boosters with more dollars than brains, programs can purchase via NIL a foundation and turn a program in a couple of years. That is assuming you can find the “right person” as a head coach that each year can “mesh” those incoming players with current roster and maintain unity and continuity.
I look at college basketball currently. And understanding it is somewhat different considering roster sizes, you literally have only one or two hold overs from the previous years. Most of the team tests either the NBA or NIL/transfer portal waters.
 
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KrAzY3

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I think this will become the new world of CFB with the transfer portal and NIL. Each year you can probably expect, between graduation,/transfers out and recruiting/transfers in, a 40% or more turnover in the roster. Not only will coaches need to re-recruit players to stay, they’ll need to evaluate/anticipate where outages could be and areas where the probability of current player development may be suspect. (Like we are currently experiencing at QB).
I believe that the biggest adjustment Saban needs to make is how he orients his staff relative to recruiting.

I would argue that you should almost give up on recruiting certain positions, and stick to areas where you have to develop players within the system and as a group.

Why for instance though do you need to develop receivers and even quarterbacks? I can name plenty of successful transfers at both positions, and generally you know what you are getting when it occurs.

From Russell Wilson, to Cam Newton, to Sam Hartman, I don't think anyone was really surprised by the success of these guys because they were known commodities at that point. So why do you even bother trying to recruit the position and develop the position when even best case scenario they are with you three seasons (generally only active two of those years)?

So, to me it becomes not about recruiting players, but recruiting boosters and corporate partners who are going to pay and entice those guys to come play for you. That's the game now and Hartman openly said he went to Notre Dame due to NIL money. Alabama meanwhile has Milroe and I think we know who got that short end this season at least, and that's the issue right? That may be Milroe becomes better, but even if he puts it together next season, he still leaves for the NFL, so what did your patience and development really buy you?
 

bvandegraff

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CNS loves what he does to the point where he "lives to work" and he expects that from his staff. Younger generations "Work to live" and they seek employment where there is more of a balance.
This. Saban is famously demanding of his staff. Nowadays there are enough Saban proteges running elite programs that top assistants can get the Saban-like experience for fewer hours per week elsewhere.
 

Tenntiderman

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No doubt we have to dance with the one we brought.

That said, I found the Buchner transfer odd and a bit concerning when it happened.

After hearing Saban's comments about his progress last week, and after seeing his performance on Saturday, I find it even more odd and concerning.

I said this before the TX game and I'll say it again about Ole Miss...we'll know a lot more about where things stand after the game on Saturday.

I can't remember the last time I felt so much uncertainty about our team.
Agree. This may be what I have dreaded since spring of 2007. But....college ball has a huge problem that no one seems to know what to do about. It is a bad day when fans are encouraged to monetarily support their select program. Not sustainable.
 

CB4

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I believe that the biggest adjustment Saban needs to make is how he orients his staff relative to recruiting.

I would argue that you should almost give up on recruiting certain positions, and stick to areas where you have to develop players within the system and as a group.

Why for instance though do you need to develop receivers and even quarterbacks? I can name plenty of successful transfers at both positions, and generally you know what you are getting when it occurs.

From Russell Wilson, to Cam Newton, to Sam Hartman, I don't think anyone was really surprised by the success of these guys because they were known commodities at that point. So why do you even bother trying to recruit the position and develop the position when even best case scenario they are with you three seasons (generally only active two of those years)?

So, to me it becomes not about recruiting players, but recruiting boosters and corporate partners who are going to pay and entice those guys to come play for you. That's the game now and Hartman openly said he went to Notre Dame due to NIL money. Alabama meanwhile has Milroe and I think we know who got that short end this season at least, and that's the issue right? That may be Milroe becomes better, but even if he puts it together next season, he still leaves for the NFL, so what did your patience and development really buy you?
I agree. Top 5 recruiting classes mean little if you don’t 1) retain 2) develop and 3) have them contribute early. Gone are the days where a kid sits around two or three years waiting their “shot”. Might as well concentrate on getting those already developed….
 

SkullDuckery

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Speaking of coaches, if Bo Davis was on our sidelines instead of Texas there is a good chance we win that game. Their d line made a huge impact in the outcome.
 
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