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SEC Media Days 2015: Nick Saban Talks About the Big Picture

Everyone always asks him to opine on the largest issues in the game.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban didn't spend a lot of time in his SEC Media Days presser talking about football. He mentioned doing some more two tight end sets due to losing Jalston Fowler, and despite later praising Jacob Coker when asked about him, he also said he needed someone to "take the bull by the horns" at the quarterback spot.

Mostly Saban talked about bigger picture issues because for some reason the SEC media always ask him a bunch of those. It feels as though because he's the best coach in the conference, they expect his word to be the definitive one on just about any subject of controversy:

  • Satellite camps: His first question was about them, and he claimed he "wasn't all that upset about it". He reiterated the conference's line about wanting consistent rules everywhere.
  • Cost of attendance: Every coach is getting this question, and though it took a while, Saban got it too. He said he doesn't use CoA payments as a recruiting tool and just sells his school and program instead.
  • The Confederate flag: He said he's not for any symbols that are "mean spirited" and don't "represent equal rights for all". It was a polished answer that Dan Mullen could have used yesterday. The state of Alabama removed the confederate imagery from its capitol state grounds last month.
  • Domestic violence: He stated plainly that he doesn't condone domestic violence of violence against women. He got pressed on this issue because of Jonathan Taylor, and while he said he thought Taylor didn't get "due process" before being dismissed, he said Taylor was on a zero tolerance policy. He repeated his stance from when the Taylor saga was unfolding, saying he doesn't regret giving players a second chance.
  • Hurry up offenses: He volunteered in his opening statement that he thought his offense employing some hurry up during the season led to his team running out of gas late. When asked about it again later, he said that he's had to adapt his method to combat fast paced attacks. The NFL way of doing defense (and his preferred way) is to have specialty players and packages to combat specific offensive sets and personnel groupings. You can't do that nearly as much against hurry up attacks because of the lack of ability to substitute frequently.
  • The NFL Draft: This is another one he brought up himself first, saying he thought that some of his players played not to get hurt during the Sugar Bowl because they had gotten their draft evaluations during bowl practice. When it came up later during questions, he stated those early draft evals affected his team's chemistry and campaigned for pushing them back until after the championship game.

The measured rhythms of Saban's speech and the sleepy early morning, Day 3 environment made Saban's session not seem terribly exciting, but he said a lot more in his time at the podium than every other coach has so far. It's too bad he couldn't talk more actual football, but that's never the hand the media deals him in Hoover.