As arguably the greatest head coach in college football history, Nick Saban knows how important it is to be able to adjust on the fly. And thanks to his brilliance, the Alabama Crimson Tide have won six national titles during his time in Tuscaloosa.
However, Saban now has to replace a coach he hired less than two months ago. Plus, he still has to figure out who will succeed Mac Jones.
On Wednesday, the legendary coach opened up about a surprising resignation and the current state of Alabama’s quarterback position.
The Crimson Tide have a few new faces on their coaching staff
The Crimson Tide coaching staff underwent some significant changes during the last few months.
In early January, Steve Sarkisian officially left Alabama (again) for a chance to run his own program. The 47-year-old took his talents to the University of Texas on a lucrative deal that will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the sport.
Just a few weeks later, Saban made a key addition to his staff by hiring longtime NFL coach Doug Marrone. Although his tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars featured plenty of ups and downs, the 56-year-old won’t have to worry about anything other than working with Alabama’s offensive linemen.
Two days after Marrone officially came on board, Saban hired Bill O’Brien as Sarkisian’s replacement. The former Houston Texans head coach will attempt to rebuild his value as the team’s new offensive coordinator.
And by the end of the month, Saban seemingly solidified his staff by hiring Jay Graham as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.
Nick Saban opens up about Jay Graham’s surprising resignation
Unfortunately for Nick Saban, one of his recent hires decided to put a pause on his coaching career.
Jay Graham released a statement on Twitter on Wednesday explaining his decision to resign from his new job.
“I am taking time away from football to seek professional help immediately, gain a better understanding of mental health and spend time with loved ones,” the 45-year-old former NFL running back wrote. “I hope to rebalance my life so that I am able to return to my passion of coaching and helping student-athletes pursue their dreams.”
He further added, “I hope my voice inspires others that may be struggling to seek help.”
Saban opened up about Graham’s surprising resignation during his post-practice media availability on Wednesday.
“Jay made a decision to do what he did and we’re going to support him every way we can,” Saban said. “We certainly wish him and his family the very best for what they do.”
He explained the team will “improvise and adjust” to account for an unexpected staff departure. Special assistant Todd Watson will temporarily take over until the Crimson Tide can conduct a search to find Graham’s permanent replacement.
Saban gives an update about the state of the quarterback position at Alabama
With Mac Jones set to become a first-round NFL draft pick, Nick Saban must break in a new starting quarterback this fall.
“We have three quarterbacks in the program. Bryce [Young] is probably a little ahead of everyone else because he got a lot of reps last year,” Saban said Wednesday. “Even though he didn’t get to play that much, he got a lot of reps in practice, a lot of good carryover for him.”
Bryce Young signed with Alabama as a five-star recruit. He completed 13 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown in limited action as a true freshman.
The California native has to fend off redshirt sophomore Paul Tyson and early enrollee Jalen Milroe for the starting gig.
“The other two guys, they’re working and making improvements,” Saban said. “So we’re really just focused on improvement—not really the outcome.”
All statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.