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Nick Saban shares how Larry Fitzgerald educated Alabama, himself on 'The Process'

The former Pittsburgh and NFL star visited the Crimson Tide this week

The list of star-studded guest speakers who have received an invitation from Nick Saban to address his University of Alabama football teams hardly is short on star-power.

That group added another legend this week, when former University of Pittsburgh and longtime NFL All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald addressed the Crimson Tide amidst their preseason training camp.

And Saban on Wednesday revealed a key element of Fitzgerald’s message, saying he even learned something about himself in the process of discussing … The Process.

‘One of the players asked (Fitzgerald), ‘How did you stay motivated when you had so much success for so long?’,” Saban shared. “And he said, ‘I love the process. I love watching film. I love to practice, I caught extra balls before practice, I ran routes with the quarterback after practice, I love the process. And then when the game came, it was really, really easy.’

“And that’s kind of interesting because some of our best players, some of our really, really good players traditionally in the past, that’s exactly how they were. And that’s exactly how a lot of the guys on our team right now that are really good players, that’s how they are.”

Still, Saban explained, that’s not quite where every member of the Alabama squad is at this current time in training camp.

“We need to have everybody to be that way,” Saban said. “We don’t need anybody trying to get out of drills or practicing or whatever. And if they love the process of what it takes, not to win a game, but to do the things you need to do to be able to win a game, all right, not to do the things, not just think about being a starter, but what do you do to be a starter? What does a starter act like? How does a starter practice? How does a starter go about being responsible to do his job?

“And I thought that was a really good message, and I think it’s a message that, Larry made a point of this, it’s the same thing in your life. Being a good parent. Being a good husband. Doing a good job in whatever it is you do. So it was kind of interesting.”

So interesting, in fact, that Saban said it prompted some introspection.

“I get asked a lot, I never ever thought of this: how do you stay motivated, and I never really could answer it,” Saban said, continuing his monologue. “But I love the process. I love practicing, I like getting ready for practice, I love coaching the players on the field, trying to get them play as good as they can be, so we have the best chance, they have the best chance to be successful, we have the best chance to be successful.

“So hopefully we can get a whole team full of guys getting ready to do that.”