Published On: Wed, Aug 3rd, 2022

Alabama’s Nick Saban calls 2021 season a ‘rebuilding year’


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An overall record of 13-2, an SEC championship and a trip to college football’s national championship would usually be considered one of the most successful seasons in a program’s history. 

Not for Alabama. Not for head coach Nick Saban

Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks during SEC Media Days July 19, 2022, in Atlanta. 

Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks during SEC Media Days July 19, 2022, in Atlanta. 
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

“Last year, we had kind of a rebuilding year,” Saban said Wednesday on “McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning.” 

Alabama entered the 2021 season the preseason No. 1, losing just one regular season game to Texas A&M in October. In the SEC championship game against undefeated and No. 1 Georgia, the Crimson Tide rolled, beating the Bulldogs 41-24. 

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In the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs, Alabama easily handled undefeated Cincinnati to advance to its sixth CFP final before losing to Georgia

Alabama coach Nick Saban watches players warm up for the College Football Playoff national championship game against Georgia Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Alabama coach Nick Saban watches players warm up for the College Football Playoff national championship game against Georgia Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

“We should have nine starters back on offense, nine on defense but six guys go out early for the draft, so now we have five back on offense and seven back on defense,” Saban continued. 

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“That, in and of itself, creates a few more question marks. But it also creates opportunity for other players to be able to shine in the program and contribute in a positive way. So, nobody knows for sure how this stuff is going to come to fruition, but that’s part of the excitement and challenge we have to be able to develop a team.”

Alabama enters the 2022 college football with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner under center as quarterback Bryce Young enters his third season in Tuscaloosa. 

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban addresses the media during the SEC Football Kickoff Media Days July 19, 2022, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban addresses the media during the SEC Football Kickoff Media Days July 19, 2022, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
(Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“What we admire about Bryce is he’s very bright,” Saban said of Young Tuesday, according to AL.com. “He does a good job of preparing. He’s always on top of exactly what we want to do, how we want to execute it. The thing we try to emphasize with him — because he has a calm demeanor — is his presence is important to the rest of the players. He’s made strides in affecting other people on offense in a positive way.” 

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Alabama is scheduled to begin fall camp this week. The Crimson Tide open the regular season Sept. 3 against Utah State





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