Nick Saban Is Great Because He Is Malleable

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Nick Saban won his seventh national championship a few months ago with an Alabama team that — gasp — surrendered 19.38 points per game, good for only 13th-fewest in the country. It's a slightly gaudy number for a Crimson Tide dynasty known for making opposing teams earn every yard, let alone point, through maximum effort.

But savvy understanders of the game could see the further transformation of Saban on its way. A few years back he leaned into creating an uptempo offense capable of simply outscoring other teams and has leaned on that, plus a comparatively elite defense, to further his own Hall of Fame career.

Speaking on a conference call today, the Alabama coach explained how his philosophy has changed as the game has evolved. His points may be fairly obvious yet it's worth pointing out that Saban is willing to change. Nick Saban! The person who could cross his arms the most and refuse to change and no one could really blame him.

It seems instructive to follow his lead and learn to ride the new wave instead of trying in vain to keep it from crashing on home shores. If Saban isn't too stubborn to reassess the situation and pivot to a better strategy, what makes less-decorated coaches think it'd be some failing for them to audible?