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Alabama’s Saban Not Thrilled With Question About McCarron, SI Cover

gfx - they said itNick Saban isn’t the world’s best soundbite when it comes to press conferences and media sessions.  In fact, he can be so prickly that reporters have to worry about setting him off.  He’s prone to blow a gasket over small or downright odd issues.

Yesterday’s meeting with the media provided a perfect example.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated.  A reporter said he had two questions for Saban regarding that cover.  The first, “How does AJ look as a cover boy?” led Saban to interrupt… and make an ass of himself:


“Well, first of all, obviously, do you think I sit around all day looking at magazines or what?  I don’t even know what you’re talking about.  I mean, you ask a question every week that I don’t know anything about.  You need to come here and walk around and follow me around for like a week.  I haven’t seen a newspaper today.  I don’t know what’s happening in the world.  I watch The Weather Channel, alright, for 10 minutes in the morning while I have a cup of coffee so I know what the weather’s gonna be so we can practice inside or outside.  Alright, other than that… so I really can’t answer your question ’cause I have no knowledge of any of it.  I’m happy for AJ and I’m sure he looks great, but…”


Saban then belittled the reporter further by making fun of another question he’d asked, “like that’s all I’ve got to worry about.”

(Quick sidenote: Alabama fans can stop reading now.  Saban could slap a priest and Bama fans would say the priest was asking for it.  So Tide fans are not going to like the rest of this.  Best depart this post now.)

Saban is the best coach of our age and perhaps any other age as well.  He’s unmatched.  He’s driven.  He’s a perfectionist.  But he can also be a bully.

A reporter asked him a question about his star player being on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  It was a silly little throw-away question, yes.  But coaches get those kind of questions all the time.  Most would know when their quarterback is on the cover of Sports Illustrated (and you can bet a man as controlling as Saban knew it about McCarron as well.)  Some coaches would have played along with such a question.  How do you think Mark Richt or Steve Spurrier would have answered, for example?  Some — who didn’t appreciate the question — would have still said, “I haven’t seen it yet.”  Only Saban would go out of his way to mock the guy asking the question.

That’s bullying.  He does it because as coach — even as a 60-something, 5-9 coach — no reporter is supposed to talk about.  The guys with the mics have to just eat it lest Saban and Alabama punish them or their paper or their station or their website by cutting access.  Personally, I think reporters should treat coaches as they themselves are treated.  If a coach is a jackass, a reporter isn’t legally bound to take it.  The coach is just a guy.  He just happens to have a million-dollar profession.  The reporter should’ve said, “There’s no need for you to be a jerk about it.”

If Saban were Joe Blow and he talked that way to someone on the street he’d likely eat a fist.  Because he’s on a riser behind a podium, well, that makes him special.  “You can’t be ugly back!  He’s the coach!”  Please.

As for Saban’s, “You should follow me around for a week” remark, the guy asking the question should have interrupted the coach and asked what time he should arrive each day.  Hey, the coach offered.  Take him up on it in front of everyone.

With so much media out there, guys are scraping for different angles and soundbites.  The McCarron question was completely harmless.  Silly, but harmless.  Saban could have brushed it off and moved on.  Instead, he chose to mock the guy’s question.  The reporter certainly showed more class in not telling Saban to sit and spin than Saban did with rambling, dismissive response.

Terrific coach.  But a jerk when he wants to be.

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Arkansas QB Allen Questionable For Texas A&M

Brandon AllenArkansas might or might not have its usual starting quarterback in the lineup when highly-ranked Texas A&M rolls into Fayetteville this weekend.  Brandon Allen is still questionable due to a bruised shoulder suffered two weeks ago in the Hogs’ win over Southern Miss.

Allen did not play in Saturday’s come-from-ahead loss at Rutgers.  Backup AJ Derby completed 14-of-26 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.

According to Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema, it’s going to be “wait and see” all over again for Allen this week.  “If he can go, he can go.  If not, we’ll continue with AJ’s progress and development and see what he can do.”

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Alabama’s Saban “Sick And Tired” Of “BS” About McCarron’s Toe

gfx - they said itA quick tip for you: Don’t ask Nick Saban about quarterback AJ McCarron’s toe.  He’s tired of talking about “the most famous ingrown toe nail known to man.”

McCarron was spotted wearing a walking boot prior to the Tide’s season-opening win over Virginia Tech.  The uber-accurate quarterback then had a rough outing against the Hokies (10-of-23 for 110 yards a score and a pick), though part of his struggles could be blamed on a rebuilt offensive line that clearly needs to build some chemistry.

Regardless of McCarron’s performance, Saban’s grown weary of the toe talk saying he’s:


“…sort of sick and tired of talking about this BS because it’s nothing.  AJ’s mobility is fine.  His mobility was fine in the game and there was nothing wrong with him in the game.

We can make it something and make it an excuse, but really worrying about that kind of stuff rather than what you need to do to play well might be contributing to how you play.  To me, that’s the issue.”


Saban also made this declaration: “The people around (McCarron) need to play better so he has a chance to play well.”

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Bama’s McCarron Not Answering Questions About A&M’s Manziel

johnny-manziel-aj-mccarronWhen Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel said yesterday that he overslept at the Manning Passing Academy and that that’s what led to his departure from the camp, everyone knew that questions when then come AJ McCarron’s way.  That’s because McCarron was Manziel’s roommate the camp and he did arrive on time for the scheduled meetings last Saturday.

So, was Manziel in their room?  And if so, why didn’t McCarron wake him up?

McCarron is indeed hearing those questions.  He’s just not providing any answers.  Today he’s told the reporters at SEC Media Days:


“I can’t answer on Johnny Manziel’s part.  My name’s AJ.  He’s his own man.  I’m not gonna speak on another man’s business…. I know how I handle myself out in public, how I carry myself in front of people.  That’s what I’m worried about.”


Read into that what you will.  McCarron also decided not to use Manziel’s “I’m just a 20-year-old kid” defense from a day ago, by admitting that he knows he lives in a fishbowl:


“You can’t be a normal 22-year-old kid… I can’t go out and act a fool.  I can’t go out and drink excessively, being wild and stuff.  I can’t do that.”


In a one-on-one with ESPN, McCarron added:


“As Coach Saban says, ‘We created this beast.  You asked for this lifestyle and you asked for this spotlight that comes with it.  So enjoy it, but don’t misuse it in any kind of way.”


McCarron and Manziel have been pals — as evidenced by the photo from last Friday we’ve posted at left — but it’s hard to imagine two guys handling the spotlight more differently.

You also have to wonder if their friendship might be strained thanks to the Manziel hubbub of the past week.  After all, last night McCarron took a page from Manziel’s book and briefly posted a tweet stating: “Your right I’m not at the espy’s! I don’t have to be at a award show to know what my team did.”

Manziel was at the ESPY’s last night.  McCarron says his tweet wasn’t aimed at Manziel.  Uh-huh.

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Bama’s Saban Gigs, Then Praises QB McCarron

aj-mccarron-playingAlabama’s Nick Saban has plenty of praise for the leadership skills exhibited by his starting quarterback, AJ McCarron.  Well, today he does.

Saban shared an anecdote about his QB’s growth at a benefit dinner in McCarron’s hometown of Mobile last night:


“I remember the first scrimmage AJ was in, we made him play with the threes.  He was hot behind the collar and fussing out on the field and stormed up to my office when the scrimmage was over and said, ‘How come you made me play with the threes?  I thought I was going to be with the twos.’  I said, ‘We’re only evaluating your leadership today and you failed.’…

He has come a long way.  Now he is the best leader on our team, and has been, and is one of the best quarterbacks in the country.  We’re certainly pleased and proud to have him being our quarterback.”


With two BCS championships on his resume already, McCarron should be considered among the greatest Alabama quarterbacks of all time.  If he leads the Crimson Tide to another title next January, his name will deservedly be etched alongside the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the college game.

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Saban Tired Of Spanking Talk

Alabama’s Nick Saban slapped backup quarterback AJ McCarron on the rump during last Saturday’s game against Mississippi State.

Some people made a rather big deal out of the butt slap.

Saban actually apologized for offending anyone on his radio show this week.

Asked about the matter again last night, Saban sounds like a man who’s had enough of the topic.

“Hey, football is a tough game for tough people.  It really is.  There’s a lot of intensity, a lot of intensity on the sidelines and a lot of intensity in practice.  That’s the way it is.  I’m really not apologizing for anything I did, to be honest with you.  AJ doesn’t have a problem with it, and nobody else should have a problem with it.

“I’ve been getting patted on the ass since I was 9-years-old playing Pee Wee football.  If you don’t like that, I guess you should watch the Golf Channel.”

Amen.  Finally. 

What a nonsensical non-topic.

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