Najee Harris dominated at Alabama before beginning a bright NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year.
The running back broke Derrick Henry's school records for all-time rushing yards and touchdowns before becoming a first-round selection. However, his time with the Crimson Tide didn't always go smoothly.
He said they had arguments where Harris felt "belittled" by the head coach.
"I'm not the type of dude to just sit back and let somebody talk to me in a way and then not expect me to say something," Harris said. "I can take coaching, but it's a certain type of line when you cross, it's like, 'All right, I'm a man, you ain't gonna talk to me like that.'"
Harris imitated Saban threatening to kick him out of practice when he got into fights before revealing that he left the team for two weeks during his senior season.
When he returned, they had a one-on-one conversation in Saban's office that improved their relationship.
"He took his time out that day to really understand who I am," Harris said. "And ever since that day, we was rock solid."
Whatever incident caused Harris' brief departure certainly didn't hamper his production. The star back scored 30 touchdowns during the 2020 season with 1,891 all-purpose yards.
Harris added that Saban and Mike Tomlin have "zero" in common beyond their success as football coaches and desire to win. The 24-year-old said the Steelers coach takes more time to get to know his players.
After graduating from Alabama, Harris seized the NFL spotlight with 1,667 yards and 10 touchdowns as a rookie. He'll enter his second season as one of the league's top featured backs.