What's different about this Alabama team? Nick Saban has some ideas – Footballscoop

Even before Alabama dropped their second game of the season, this Crimson Tide team seemed different.
With a top 15 Ole Miss team on deck Saturday, the Tide are in danger of ending a season with three losses for just the second time since 2010.
A staple of Nick Saban's longstanding success has been centered on his teams focusing on the daily habits required to be successful, or what he has famously dubbed The Process. But he shared with Mark Schlabach and ESPN recently that this year's group seems to be more outcome-oriented.
"I've tried to always focus on process and not outcomes, that's always been the culture of the program. I don't know if it's the expectations that get created or what, but this team seems to be a little more outcome-oriented, which sometimes to me makes it more difficult to focus on the process. And then when you do that, it also creates anxiety while you're playing."
Why do this year's players seem more outcome-oriented? Saban thinks a few reasons – stretching beyond the walls of Alabama's facility – come down to the transfer portal and NIL, both of which have changed the player-coach dynamic.
"We used to always have to deal with guys going out for the draft, but now you've got everybody on the team can go out for the draft basically [through the transfer portal]. When you ask about commitment, that in and of itself, just the dynamic [has changed]. I'm not talking about our team. I'm just talking about the dynamic of the whole thing. You've really got to have guys that are all in for the team, and we started out the season that way."
The dynamics of the coach-player relationship had remained largely unchanged for decades, and while everyone could see changes to that dynamic were sure to come with the implementations of both NIL and the transfer portal, even the GOAT is trying to navigate the complexities of it and stay ahead of the curve at 71.
Coaches that are able to build successful programs and master the coach-player dynamic in this new NIL and transfer portal era are going to see their value go through the roof, and I can't wait to have a front row seat to see who (and how) rises to the top over the next decade or two.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Doug has been with FootballScoop for over a decade and currently serves as Director of Content. A former small college football player and college assistant, Samuels now serves as the head coach at Comstock Park HS (MI). He’s married with two kids and lives just south of Grand Rapids in Byron Center, MI.
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