Saban doesn’t like no-huddle offenses

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It’s not often that you shake your head at something that Nick Saban says, but his recent comments have me doing just that. During an off-week, Saban chimed in on the offense craze of college football:

“I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety,” Saban said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference. “The team gets in the same formation group. You can’t substitute defensive players. You go on a 14-, 16- or 18-play drive and they’re snapping the ball as fast as you can go, and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can’t even get lined up. That’s when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt … when they’re not ready to play. I think that’s something that can be looked at. It’s obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense when teams are scoring 70 points and we’re averaging 49.5 points a game. More and more people are going to do it.

“I just think there’s got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking: Is this what we want football to be?”

First off, you can’t fault a guy for lobbying for something that would benefit him. Clearly, rules preventing fast tempo offenses would give Alabama an advantage. Alabama has more depth on defense than most teams so being able to cycle in these guys would be more relevant for Saban.

The fairness comment at the end, however, makes me roll my eyes.

I sort of put these comments in the category of Steve Spurrier advocating for determining divisional champions based only on divisional records simply because South Carolina had a tougher schedule one year when compared to Georgia.

What do you think?

COMMENTS

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  • Surprising comments from Nick Saban. I love Saban, and I can understand his point about guys getting hurt. But let’s be honest, teams have been doing this for years, and I know of no obvious injuries due to the hurry up…besides “cramping” – right, Coach Sumlin? Anyway, anything that doesn’t benefit Saban or his team, he’s not shy about voicing his concerns or opinions. I’m just not sure what he’s trying to get at here.

  • Saban’s just pressing for another advantage under the guise of “player safety.” If players on both teams are on the field for an equal number of snaps, then there’s not a safety issue. There might be a conditioning issue, especially if your team has 260 lb sledge-hammer LBs and 340 lb DTs.

    Nothing stops a Defense from subbing — they just need to do it in time if the offense has not done so. This whole thing is a bit beneath such an accomplished coach.

    • Not true. The safety issue is that players who may have been injured on a play may not be able to get off the field due to the speed of the game. I am not referring to obvious injuries where a player has to be walked or carted off the field, but rather injuries that are not as visible. But, regardless, slowing the offense down wins time of possession and is another defensive scheme by the offense. That is why I believe Saban chooses to not run a hurry-up offense. Other coaches should catch on to the trend as well.

  • I have to roll my eyes as well with the fairness remarks. I would think he would be against a draft instead of recruiting for players as that would be more fair in getting even amounts of talent. I am not for this but when he has second and third string guys that could start at most schools, to me it just seems like a weakness has been exposed and he wants outside forces to remedy it. I do understand that two players were hurt this past weekend but not sure if the “hurry up” contributed to that or if its just the nature of the game.

  • I don’t agree with the “fairness” issue or even so much the safety aspect but come on… you gotta admit that the hurry up/no-huddle offenses get real boring to watch. I personally like waiting in anticipation for the huddle to break to see what they line up with. I love the commentary in between, listening to the announcers predict the next move. Maybe I’m just a little old-fashioned, but I prefer to watch defensive games anyway.

  • If it is fast or slow, Bama is coming.
    Imagine knowing whatever adjustments you make will not help you.
    Bama just Rolls on!