Alabama’s celebration is over. Head coach Nick Saban allowed two days for himself and the team to relish winning a second national championship in a row, but now it’s time to get back to work.
Saban will hold a team meeting today and the focus turns to three-peating in 2013.
“When the team goes in there, he’ll say, ‘This team hasn’t done anything,’” said A.J. McCarron following Monday night’s 42-14 national title win over Notre Dame. “So I’m already mentally prepared for that.”
Saban is always focused on the challenges the future presents. Earlier today he was on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” radio show where he addressed what’s next for the Crimson Tide.
“I’m sitting here thinking about what we got to do next year,” Saban said. “Having success is not a continuum. It’s a constant process of what you need to do to keep challenging yourself and your team and the people around you in your organization to achieve at a high standard.
“Consistency in performance defines success. That’s what we’re focused on right now.”
Last month, McCarron and linebacker C.J. Mosley announced that they will return next season for their senior years, and on Wednesday afternoon, right guard Anthony Steen did the same. The Tide is still waiting for juniors right tackle D.J. Fluker, running back Eddie Lacy and cornerback Dee Milliner to announce their NFL intentions. They could do so as early as today. All three are expected to forgo their senior years.
Though he’s addressed the NFL several times in the last month, ESPN radio host Mike Greenberg asked Saban if he could close the door on his professional football career.
“It’s closed,” Saban said. “How many times do I have to say it? You all don’t believe it. Any time I do an interview, I’ve got to say the same thing. You don’t believe it, so why do I have to keep saying it? I don’t understand it. The guy said it the other day at my last press conference, ‘Will you close the door on all this?’ So I closed the door.
“Now it’s two days later and you’re asking me to close the door again. The damn hinges are worn off!”
Having the experience coaching in the NFL, Saban can explain the differences between coaching at the two different levels and why he likes college better.
“Part of coaching to me, or the way I was brought up in it, is you try to help players develop personally, you want to see them graduate from school, develop a career off the field,” he said. “You want to help them develop to be all they can be. You want to see them be more successful in their life because they were involved in your program when they were in college. There’s a lot of fun in all that, too.
“In the NFL, it’s not that way. Everything is about people having success in their career as football players so they can make more money, you can win more games. It’s a business and it’s a little bit different from that standpoint.”
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