When Scott Cochran left for Georgia earlier this offseason, Alabama hired Dr. Matt Rhea and David Ballou away from Indiana to run its strength and conditioning program.

And, from the sound of what Nick Saban told Eli Gold during an interview on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on Saturday, they’re already making a big impact.

Saban explained how the former Indiana duo first got on his radar and then praised the work they’ve done thus far (via 247Sports):

“Four or five years ago, these guys were at IMG when actually some of our fourth- and fifth-year players were at IMG and heard a lot about some of the state-of-the-art sports science stuff that they were actually into and doing there, just when you’d visit in recruiting or whatever,” Saban told Gold. “I never really thought much about it, and then when we had this opportunity come up, we researched these guys and they’d done a phenomenal job at Notre Dame of eliminating injuries by something like 50 percent and even better at Indiana.

“So, when they came in and we interviewed them, there was no question that from a sports science standpoint and from a conditioning standpoint they were light-years in advance of what a lot of people have done in their programs for a long, long time, which we’ve done the same thing for a long, long time, too. And we’d actually brought some NFL people at the end of the season because we wondering if there was something that we could do to improve performance and injury prevention because we seemed like we’d gotten a lot of guys hurt this past season.

“So, we were already going down this path, so then when these guys came on board, everybody else we interview was pretty much like a strength coach of the past, and these guys were really way advanced in terms of some of the things that they did to prevent injuries, some of the training programs that they had — velocity training, explosive movements. Just really, really excited to have them here in the program. The players love them. They’ve done a phenomenal job in transition, and I think, longterm, this is going to be a real asset for us.”

How will the new strength program translate to the field in 2020? That remains to be seen, especially since this has not been a normal offseason.

It seems Saban is happy, though, and that’s a good sign.