Saban expects Alabama to be ‘a little different type of team’
by LaVonte Young
HOOVER- Alabama head coach Nick Saban is in an elite group when it comes to championships. Saban, who is entering his seventh season at the helm at Alabama, has won three BCS championships in the last four years and he has four overall. Even though he is tied for third in championships won, he is not ready to be compared to legendary coach Bear Bryant who is the all time leader in championships with six.

“I don’t think I have any reason that anybody should do that,“ Saban said. “I think Bear Bryant is probably the greatest coach in college football in terms of what he accomplished, what his legacy is.”

Saban acknowledges there are a lot of stories about Bryant that have impacted his life.

“I think the biggest thing that impacts me is how many peoples’ lives he affected in a positive way, players that played for him, because they all come back and say how he affected their life,” Saban said. “They don’t come back and say, we won a championship in ‘78, ‘79, ‘61, whenever it was. They come back and say how he affected their lives.”

On Thursday, at the 2013 SEC Media Days at the Winfrey Hotel in Hoover, the SEC Media predicted Alabama to win the conference. Saban was quick to point out that the predictions have been wrong 17 out of the 21 times.

“Now, if I was 4-17 as a coach, I would be back in West Virginia pumping my gas at my daddy’s gas station, which we don’t really want to go there,” Saban said.

The formula of how Alabama won three championships in four years may be changing this season. In the past, the Crimson Tide has been known for their veteran offensive line and defensive play but this season both units have several question marks.

“We have questions about the development of the offensive line, but that seems to go very well,” Saban said. “We have some very good skill players at wide receiver who have been very productive. So we may have a little different type of team. I just think it’s crazy to speculate because of the fact that each year you have a different type of team. This year, you know, our team probably has a little better skilled players on offense. We have a very experienced quarterback who has done a wonderful job and has developed and improved every year, has continued to do that, has been a leader on our team in A.J. McCarron.”

As Alabama goes into the season trying to go for a three-peat, McCarron said that neither coaches nor the team has tried to put their success into words.

“Coach Saban doesn’t say it is a dynasty, so I’m not going to say it is a dynasty,” McCarron said. “I think that is the mindset that we have to take in to it. We know what we have achieved. We don’t need one word to describe what we have accomplished as team and as a university as a whole. It has been a blessing to be a part of.”

The Pre-Season second team All-SEC quarterback also took time to talk about rooming with Texas A&M’s Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel at the Manning Camp last week.

“I can’t answer on Johnny Manziel’s part, my name is AJ,” he said. “Everything that has to do with him- he is his own man. I don’t speak on another man’s business. That is how I was raised. If it doesn’t have anything to do with you, don’t speak on it. I know how I handle myself out in public and how I carry myself in front of people. That is what I am worried about. I am trying to be the best player and person off the field that I can be for my family and the University of Alabama.”

© 2013