Nick Saban sounds an awful lot like Jim McElwain - or vice versa
Alabama coach Nick Saban was on a teleconference with reporters this afternoon in advance of next week's national title game. When Saban was asked about what changes he had to make in his first season with the Crimson Tide to reestablish ‘Bama as a national power, I had a serious case of déjà vu.
Florida coach Jim McElwain said pretty much the same thing last week.
Here's Saban: "I think that when you start a program...you really have to establish fundamental sort of intangibles that are going to help you build the kind of character, competitive character in the people that you have in the organization to get them to be all that they can be, and that says a lot about the attitude that the players have, and that's certainly a challenge.
"To get players to respect and trust in the principles and values, to get players to respect and trust each other, become a family and a team that believes in these things will help us be successful, and having people have sort of a positive attitude and energy about doing those things and being responsible and accountable for their own self-determination in following those things and having the kind of work ethic that it takes to be able to do those things, I think those are the fundamental things that you try to establish. They don't happen overnight."
Yes, some of that is cliché. Many championship coaches will say the same thing. But it sounded a lot like what McElwain - a former Saban assistant - said a week ago in Orlando when he was asked about the culture change in Gainesville in light of RB Jordan Scarlett's suspension:
"Your actions speak so loudly that I can't hear what you say. It's pretty simple and if you live by those things in your life - quite simply doing what's right - there's a pretty good chance you're going to be successful. ...
"That's part of growing up, that's part of building a program. That's part of understanding that you're responsible not only for yourself but through those actions for the people around you.
"The little things are what creates success. How you go about those details of the little things are what helps you be successful. It's really quite simple."