Alabama football: Nick Saban’s army of coaches

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at Nick Saban’s roster of coaches he calls “analysts” and provide updates from Alabama’s first practice in pads. 

Theoretically, every FBS football team has the same number of coaches — one for each position group (other than special teams) and a head coach. On the field, that’s true. In preparation and practice, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Alabama notoriously augments its staff with a battalion of once-and-future coaches dubbed “analysts.” In years past, that meant coaching rehab projects such as Steve Sarkisian, although that investment probably didn’t generate the return Saban wanted. At Alabama, those analysts are essentially consultants who spend their time in film study and statistical analysis, sometimes as minutely focused as the “analyst for third-down passing situations” — Sarkisian’s duties before he took over as OC.

In 2017, Alabama has added a pair of notable names in former Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dan Werner and former IMG Academy coach Chris Weinke. With those hires, Saban adds decades of experience and continues his relentless pursuit of an offense that he may not be able to design, but that he knows will help him win.

ICYMI

Built by Bama

AJ McCarron might be on the move to the Cleveland Browns, but it won’t be in exchange for the top pick in the NFL draft. Cleveland has needed a quarterback since the Eisenhower administration, and McCarron is a serviceable NFL quarterback— maybe more than serviceable — and for my money, he has a higher ceiling than Cincinnati’s current first choice, Andy Dalton.

In the NBA, JaMychal Green remains a crucial part of the Memphis Grizzlies’ playoff push, an unlikely D-leaguer-turned-10-day-contract-turned-playoff starter.

Around the Capstone

Softball coach Patrick Murphy reached the 1,000-win milestone as his team beat Kent State, 5-3, on Tuesday evening in Tuscaloosa. Murphy, who has been Alabama’s coach for 19 years and led his team to the 2012 national championship, becomes the 23rd coach to reach that marker in college softball.

Miss a previous edition? Find every installment of SEC Country’s daily Alabama newsletter right here.