Alabama Coach Nick Saban has not seemed overwrought with the question that dominates conversation regarding this year’s Crimson Tide football team, meaning the quarterback question.
He does have a question, though, once that won’t be answered immediately. He wants to know if the 2015 Alabama football team will be dangerous.
“We’ve talked a lot about establishing identity and now is the time to create the identity of a dangerous team,” he said Monday as Bama got into game week. The Crimson Tide meets Wisconsin at 7 p.m. CDT Saturday in the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Saban thinks of the “Alabama teams of the past” as the last two, which failed to make it to national championship games after the 2011 and 2012 Crimson Tide squads won the national titles. He doesn’t want those teams from the recent past. He is pushing Bama to be a dangerous team.
“I don’t think anybody ever is really afraid of you until you become a scary team in terms of how you execute what you do, the discipline you play with, the grit that you have which is the perseverance and passion to accomplish the goals that you want to accomplish; and can you stay focused on those things and do those things effectively and consistently over a long period of time, which is the entire season.
“The dynamics of Alabama football have changed a little bit over the last couple of years, and I’ve been anxious to get back to what we used to do. Tradition is always under construction. Identity is not something that you inherit or assume to get from somebody else.
“So how is this team going to develop an identity of being a relentless, competitive, dangerous team that we’ve had in the past that can sustain that and stay focused on that, and not get distracted by anything else through the course of the season?
“That is how we used to build our teams – play for 60 minutes, play one play at a time, be relentless in how you play.
“In some kind of way, I feel like we’ve gotten away from that – playing with more effort, playing with more toughness. Getting more turnovers sometimes have resulted from that.
“Some of the things we have to improve on go right back to the core of ‘This is the kind of team we want to be.’
“I think this may have more to do with the success of this team than maybe anything else.”
So how’s it going?
Saban said, “I’ve been pleased with the progress that we’ve made and the commitment that we have. But the challenge always is, ‘Can you sustain it?’ That is the number one thing. It’s an identity that we play with. Can we do that as a group to a standard that is going to help us be successful?”