Eli Gold and media guest Ryan Hennessy talked with Nick Saban on "Hey Coach" this Thursday night.

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Here’s what Saban had to say on several topics:

On off-the-field interactions with former Missippi Coach, Mike Leach

Saban recounted his unexpected pre-game chats with Mike Leach. "He would say completely something you would never think of."

"He asked me about like 'who do you use to invest in real estate?' Like off-the-wall stuff. And be really interested!"

On working under Jerry Granville

Nick Saban emphasized the unorthodox methods of the great coach.

"Everything you think you need to do to be successful as a coach, we didn't do," he said, mentioning how they didn't have a notebook, or a practice plan, or an install sheet.

"We had three different plans for practice, but it was never on paper...you had to know everything like that, because you didn't know what was coming next."

On the two halves of the Ole Miss game

“The first half was a novelty in how to self-destruct...when we do things correctly, they work so well. And when we do things incorrectly they don't work at all."

"We need to play the way we did in the second half...The [players] have to have a sense of urgency on how to do things right."

“The players are trying. I think we've had a pretty good week. The players are learning."

On how he teaches players to interact with the media

Saban wants to impress on his players how valuable it can be to talk directly to the media and the fans.

"Every time you have the opportunity to create value for yourself, use it."

"When you get a chance to speak publicly, what's everybody going to say about you? I want everybody to say 'I want to hire that guy someday.'"

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And sometimes you have to respond with a different answer than the question asked.

"I always have a message before every press conference...sometimes to the team, sometimes to the fans, but there is a message to get out there and promote."

"Give a short answer and bridge it into something you want to talk about...no disrespect to the media, but you need us to talk and you don't always have the best questions to get us to talk!"

On the strength of special teams 

“Our specialists are performing outstanding." But "not a lot of people are kicking the ball to Kool-Aid... we have to improve that part of our game."

On using sports psychologists to motivate the team

“I think we're all trying to impact and affect human behavior, individually and collectively."


"People think that just because someone has talent and ability..they have this championship attitude. That's not always the case."

"Having people who understand human behavior and who can direct...they tell us how we need to coach the guys to get them to that point."

On how the team prepares for and responds to weather delays 

“In preparation for the game, we always have wet ball practice.

"People think it's gonna be hard for the offense, but it's really harder for the defense, cuz you don't know where you're gonna go."

"I think in [the South Florida game] we were as flat as a pancake--which is my fault. We actually played better after that rain delay.

"Maybe it was some of the adjustment we made, but everyone realized 'it's not gonna be easy, we need to get ourselves together.'"

On having Eli Gold back as an announcer

“Eli is like part of the tradition of Alabama football athletics.

"I love it. I love him. I love the fact that he's back and hope he will stay with us for many years to come."

On how he's changed as a coach over the years

“Probably quite a bit.

"When I played and first started coaching, I was a lot more result-oriented. Everything was about winning."

On how he reacts to penalties

“You want your team to play with great discipline.

"You feel like you're failing when guys go out there and don't do things the way you're trying to teach them to do it. That part is not frustrating, it just makes you say 'I'm gonna keep challenging myself.'"

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