Nick Saban explains why he believes Tua Tagovailoa will successfully manage to return from hip injury
Nick Saban has seen countless players rehab from tough injuries over the years and the Alabama coach believes he’s picked up on a trait that goes a long way in terms of an athlete’s ability to successfully rehab from an injury.
According to Saban, the attitude and emotional state of a player heading into the rehab process is the difference between those that bounce back and those that do not. After spending several years coaching Tua Tagovailoa and observing the quarterback rehab from a few surgeries, Saban believes his former signal-caller has what it takes to rebound from his latest setback on the field.
“He’s a very positive person,” Saban said in a recent interview with Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. “I think when it comes to injuries, guys that have a real positive attitude about it, look at their rehab as a positive thing, they always seem to bounce back and do better physically and emotionally than guys who get down and out about it, get depressed about it and think about what they’re missing, rather than what they need to do to get back—worried they’re not gonna be the same as they were before.
“He was always really positive about whatever he had to do to approach getting back and being able to go back out and play and compete and help his team.”
While Saban is clearly biased when it comes to his affection for Tagovailoa, he makes a great point that NFL teams interested in Tagovailoa would be wise to pick up on. Whether it was ankle injuries or a preseason hand injury, Tagovailoa always bounced back quickly and approached the rehab process the right way during his time in Tuscaloosa and Saban has already witnessed the QB do the same when it comes to his hip.
It may be fair to question his health but when it comes to Tagovailoa’s ability to play the game, Saban is willing to compare the QB to some of the best the NFL game has ever seen. In the SI article, Saban agreed that Tagovailoa has some qualities similar to Drew Brees and noted he sees some Aaron Rodgers in Tua’s game, as well.
“Really can rid of the ball quickly, and his accuracy is unbelievable, which, to me, is the most compelling thing a quarterback can have,” Saban offered up on Tagovailoa’s game. “It’s good judgment about where you throw the ball, get it out of your hand when you need to get it out of your hand, and be accurate with it so the people that are catching it can catch it and run with it. That’s what he is. He makes a lot of really, really good throws in tight windows, which is the biggest difference between college quarterbacks and pro quarterbacks.
“Pro quarterbacks have to do that because there’s a lot more man-to-man. I think he’s proven that he can do that in his college career here.”
Those are some bold words but if they come to fruition and teams can look beyond Tagovailoa’s injury history, one lucky franchise may just land the next great NFL quarterback.