Alabama coach Nick Saban was in mid-season form during his press conference Tuesday, attacking a reporter for asking about his new offensive coordinator.
When a coach wins five championships, they tend to have earned some leeway when it comes to these sort of things. But ESPN television personality Paul Finebaum provided no such thing in an appearance on Outside the Lines on Wednesday.
“You saw the inner workings of a mind that is always trying to manipulate but can’t always be successful,” Finebaum said. “And in this particular case, he had a reporter in that room, a new reporter, asking a question that Saban didn’t like. Listen, it happens all the time.
“As someone who has lived in Alabama, who has covered Saban, who has admired him both up close and from a far, I think it’s a very bad look.”
Finebaum also said some of Saban’s anger could stem from the fact he was one game, and really just a couple minutes, away from tying Bear Bryant for the most football National Championships in FBS history. But Finebaum discussed how that doesn’t excuse his behavior.
“If you think back to the greatest of all-time, John Wooden, he was the greatest in college basketball, I never saw him berate reporters. I don’t why Nick Saban continues to do it.
“If he has a message to get across, he can come on this show or any other show in American free of charge. He doesn’t have to take a question, turn it around, beat up a reporter and try to disseminate it because it looks good the next day on Sports Center or OTL. I’m very weary of this act of Nick Saban.”
The rant from the Alabama coach all started when a reporter asked him during Tuesday’s press conference about whether his offense will have more of a “ball-control” philosophy this season. Former New England Patriots tight end coach Brian Daboll is replacing Lane Kiffin as Alabama’s new offensive coordinator. While the Patriots have the reputation of throwing a lot, New England actually ran the ball far more than Saban admitted in his press conference.
Although Saban said NE threw over "60 percent of time," Pats really passed 54.4 percent of time — fifth-lowest rate in NFL in 2016.
— Rainer Sabin (@RainerSabin) March 22, 2017