For the record, the question was about ball control.
In fact, let’s go ahead and quote our off-screen questioner verbatim: “Given how the national championship game transpired with the time of possession deficit, how much was returning to that ball-control mentality, emphasis in hiring Brian (Daboll) as the offensive coordinator?”
Saban can’t even let the question wrap up before he launches into rant mode.
“There was nothing … we didn’t block them, we didn’t execute very well. We didn’t throw the ball accurately when we had open people and a couple of times we dropped it,” Saban said. “I think it was more a lack of execution than something schematically that we were doing as coaches. That’s not to blame anybody but us for not having players more well-prepared. The defense also needs to get themselves off the field on third down so that they don’t have to play as many plays, so it’s a combination of things.
“I do think that we could have executed a lot better and I think that most players would probably tell you that on both sides of the ball, not to take anything away from Clemson but it is what it is. As we always do, we’re going to self-assess what we did through quality control — what we did well, what we need to try to improve on, visit people to try to get better at the things we need to do better. Philosophically, I don’t know where you came up with where we need to go to ball control. That’s not what we do. I mean, the New England Patriots threw the ball over 60 percent of the time, which is more than we threw it. So where does that assumption come from? Or do you do what everybody else in the media does — just create some shit, throw it on the wall and see what sticks, which is what I see happening everywhere. People who scream the loudest, they kind of get the attention.
“And we pass some rule that everybody has to live with, or some law, where the consequences mess up a lot of other things. We do it all the time. We’re doing it right now. The NCAA is doing it. We’re going to change the way we have summer camps, we can’t have high school coaches working summer camps, I mean, it’s the most ridiculous thing that I’ve ever seen. It is what it is and whatever they do, they do.
“So we say we don’t want third-parties dealing with players so we’re not going to let the high school coach bring a guy to camp but some third-party guy can bring him to camp now. Makes no sense at all. But all the people who have common sense, they don’t say anything about it. But the people who scream the loudest will get the thing changed and it’ll mess everything up. That’s the way it goes. The way it goes in the world, politics, just the way it goes. Same way with you — we’re going to be more conservative now, ball-control offense. Where did that come from? I never said that, nobody in this building ever said that, so where’d you come up with that? Just had a dream about it, or what? If we had caught some passes in the national championship game, we had some guys open, we wouldn’t have had to control the ball. We would have scored more touchdowns.”
Tuesday was the first day of spring ball in Tuscaloosa, but Saban clearly hit the podium in mid-season form.