Stuart McNair

Alabama Coach Nick Saban looks at fast pace offense from defensive standpoint

The game of football is always evolving and Coach Nick Saban has changed with it

In Monday's press briefing, Alabama Coach Nick Saban was asked how the game has changed and how he has had to change with it. He had this to say:

"I think just about everything (has changed) over the years.

"Take something as simple as the huddle. We've coached for a long time and the first thing we did the first day of camp, the first installation, we told players how to get in the huddle. Then you told the signal caller how to call the defense.

"Now that's gone with the Edsel.

"So from the very basic beginning, I think the whole rhythm that a defensive player has to practice with in terms of pace of play is completely different. Ability to adapt and adjust, communication, is vitally important because nobody gets the call in the huddle. Everybody has to get the signal from somebody. So just about everything you do is different.

"But I think the biggest thing is, five, six, seven years ago, when we struggled with some of these things, we were betwixt and between. We'd play six teams that got in a huddle and we'd play six fastball teams. So what do you become?

"I also think that since we're a no-huddle team now, too, and part of the reason we went philosophically no huddle, is because if we're going to have to play against this all the time, it makes it easier to practice what you play against if you do it as well. So all these things have sort of contributed to the players growing up now defensively in a routine that is a little more accommodating to have to play against the hurry-up offense. But they're still going to try to go so fast that you can't get lined up and the defensive players can't get the signal and they're going to try and where you out. You have to be efficient and effective in pace of play."

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