Are You Ready For Nick Saban’s Revenge Tour?? Tide Are “Hungry & Motivated”

For the first time in a long time, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban is feeling some very real pressure.

It’s hard to argue that Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs have passed Saban’s Crimson Tide by as the premier college football program in the country.

Saban is determined to turn the “tide” back (get it?!).

In a moment of reflection at SEC Media Day, Saban admitted that high expectations may have been the culprit behind last season’s absence from the College Football Playoff for only the second time in nine years.

The team fell victim to anxiety, leading to an increase in mental errors. However, as the new season approaches, Saban sees a different mentality taking shape within the locker room, one that instills hunger and motivation among the players.

“I don’t think I did a very good job of getting the most out of that team,” Saban told ESPN, acknowledging the difficult challenges and adversity they faced.

Looking ahead to the start of preseason camp, Saban expressed optimism about the team’s current mindset.

“I think we have a pretty good mindset on our team,” he said. “Our team seems to be pretty hungry this year and motivated.”

This year, Alabama faces heightened skepticism due to Georgia’s back-to-back national championships and being the betting favorite to win a third title in a row. Some pundits have even claimed that “Alabama’s changed” and that “the dynasty is over.”

However, the players are using this doubt as fuel for their fire, taking the criticism personally and using it as motivation to prove their detractors wrong.

“You’ve got to block out the outside noise but understand at the same time I take it as extremely disrespectful,” said offensive lineman JC Latham. “You’re basically saying me and my guys aren’t good enough and saying that someone out there is better than us.”

“I take that real personal. I know how hard we work. I know we put in countless hours blood, sweat, and tears, literally, to be the best. So when someone says that, it’s like you don’t know how hard we’re working for this. So I think with this team, we’re going to shock the world.”

Cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry echoed a similar sentiment, viewing the doubt as “fire power” that pushes the team to work even harder. “We’re going harder in the weight room, everybody getting in the playbook more,” McKinstry stated.

Despite the challenges ahead, Saban commended new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and the overall improvement at key positions, such as receiver and running back.

While this year’s roster may have less experience, Saban believes that the youthful enthusiasm will contribute positively to team chemistry.

However, the Crimson Tide will have to navigate the upcoming season without former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young, who was selected as the #1 pick in the NFL Draft.

This leaves a quarterback competition among Tyler Buchner, Jalen Milroe, and Ty Simpson. Saban emphasized the importance of patience in making a decision, comparing it to baking a cake: rushing things could lead to an unsatisfactory outcome.

“We have three guys that are competing for that position right now,” Saban said. “All of those players are getting better, and it’s important for us that all those players get better. I don’t think anybody has actually separated themselves yet to this with the and I don’t think it’s something that we are trying to rush.”

(On a random side note, Sabana admitted that his favorite cake is carrot cake.)

The determination of the winner in the quarterback competition will hinge on consistency and leadership, as Saban stated. Whether a starter will be named before the season opener is yet to be seen.

Alabama’s season will kick off with a game against Middle Tennessee State, followed by a pivotal home game against Texas. Last year, the Longhorns nearly upset the Tide in Austin, adding to the anticipation of a challenging contest this season.

“Obviously, it was a really close, tough game last year when we played that game,” Saban recalled. “I think they are doing an outstanding job of recruiting and developing the players on their team, and it’s going to be a real challenging game, no doubt, because they have a lot of starters back and they have a lot of experience coming back and an experienced quarterback. So we expect them to have an outstanding team.”

With a renewed mindset, determination, and focus, Alabama is gearing up for a season that Saban hopes holds the promise of redemption and success.

Will Alabama snatch the college football crown back from their hated Georgia rivals?

Who do you think will win the starting quarterback job?

Seemingly forever young, how many years do you think Saban has left in his coaching tank?

 

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