Nick Saban: 'In the huddle, ain't nobody special. Everybody's together'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Saturday December 31, 2016


Injured Alabama safety Eddie Jackson wrote an article about his team for The Players’ Tribune, and it had such an effect on Nick Saban that the coach brought it up after winning the Peach Bowl.

The article, titled ‘To My Brothers’ was about the camaraderie of a team. After suffocating Washington 24-7, Saban brought it up during his opening statement.

I thought Eddie's article that he wrote sort of epitomizes the team chemistry that this team has and how they really sort of care about each other and everybody tries to help each other and have each other's back and support each other in doing the right things,” Saban said.

“I think that kind of leadership and that kind of togetherness is something that really helped us sustain the kind of effort that we needed in what was a very tough game tonight against a very good Washington team.”

Jackson broke his leg against Texas A&M, a season-ending injury. But he acted like a student coach, and several Alabama players commented on his influence since going down. The Tide held Washington to less than 200 yards in a dominating defensive performance.

Saban was asked about Jackson’s impact and pointed back to the message of the article. After the year, you get a sense from Saban if it was a team he liked coaching or one he didn’t. It’s clear he likes this one, and they’ll go for national title No. 5 under him against Clemson. Seeing Jackson put into words what every coach preaches meant a lot to Saban.

“The last sentence of that said something like, ‘I would give up anything to go out there and play with my brothers again. So you guys take advantage of every play that you have,'" Saban said. "I think that one thing that I took from that article that some people don't realize, especially if you haven't played on a team, especially a football team, which is probably the greatest team game there is, because there's more participants, that no matter what you search for in your life, no matter where you go, what you do — I mean, we went to the Martin Luther King Center. We've been all over this town this week.

When you're in that huddle, there ain't nobody special. Everybody's together. Everybody has respect for each other, and everybody appreciates the job that everybody else does. And you can go a long way and do a lot of things, and you may never find that. You may never find that. But you find it when you play football and you play together as a team.

“I think that article epitomized the defensive chemistry that we have and how important those guys are to each other and how they play well together.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.