You would be hard pressed to fine a more successful coach-quarterback combination than Nick Saban and A.J. McCarron. The Alabama duo won two national titles together and a bevy of games while the pair was in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama’s 2013 season didn’t go as expected, though. The Crimson Tide fell in historic fashion to Auburn and in an upset to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. McCarron blamed some of Alabama’s ill-fated year on the team’s younger players thinking success was a given and not something that had to be earned.
Saban isn’t a fan of that sentiment.
Saban not a fan of McCarron’s comments http://t.co/CEub4V0lNY
— ESPN SEC (@ESPN_SEC) May 28, 2014
Speaking at the Southeastern Conference’s annual media days in Destin, Fla., Saban offered his opinion on McCarron’s comments.
“I think a senior player — and I love AJ — but I think a senior player has a responsibility as a leader on the team to understand that when younger players come into the program, they are not going to necessarily have all the right stuff or understand the right stuff to be a part of the team. There has to be a tolerance and a commitment on the older players to sort of embrace the younger players to try to get them to where they need to play, even if they don’t play. It should not be something that upsets an older player. It should not be an issue with an older player because I can take some of these same older players and tell you about them when they were freshmen and they needed older players to help them get where they needed to be and they had to learn lessons along the way to help them develop into what they became.”
According to ESPN.com’s Edward Aschoff, Saban’s tone potentially said more than the words coming out of his mouth.
“You could hear the agitation in Saban’s voice with every word he pounded out of his mouth. Saban didn’t mince words. He was unhappy,” Aschoff wrote.