Former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy will be an analyst on the new SEC Network this fall. During a recent appearance on ESPNU for SEC Media Days, McElroy gave some insight on what it’s like to play for Nick Saban. He discussed many things, including how Saban is committed to giving 100% because, he thinks, failing scares him to death.
At one point, McElroy was asked how much of a yeller Saban was. His answer is probably not what you would expect, but at the same time is typical Saban.
“To tell you the truth, he never yells after a loss, in my experience,” McElroy said. “He never yelled one time after a loss. But he does yell after a win, because he doesn’t want that complacency to set in. One thing I’ll say that I think you often don’t see from Nick Saban: His players love him. I think the world of him. I think he’s an outstanding coach. That’s not just because I played for him, but I’m an unbiased observer now.
“I look at his accolades and what he’s accomplished. I think he cares about people, he cares about players, graduation rates are through the roof for Alabama since he took the job, and I saw how things were in 2006 and 2007, before he was able to turn it around. The way the program is now, relative to the way it was in 2007, it’s a night-and-day difference. For that, I have so much respect for him.”
McElroy unbiased? I doubt it. But it does give some good insight on what it’s like to play for Saban. He went on to talk about potential and Saban’s involvement in the program.
“To this day, like most successful people in their craft, he is afraid of letting down his team. He’s afraid of failing,” McElroy said. “All those things are in his mind. He wants to be the best there ever was. I don’t think he necessarily cares, but he knows that if he ever gave less than 100 percent, he could potentially fail, and I think that scares him to death.
“That’s why, week-in and week-out, he works tirelessly on recruiting, on the game plan, on getting his players academically eligible, all those things. He is so involved in every aspect. I wouldn’t call him a control freak, but he’s involved in everything. You have to respect that. He’s a micro-manager, in the greatest sense of the word.”
3 National Titles
I’d say keep doing what you’re doing, Nick.