Monday, August 20, 2012

Nick Saban reinvents the language of college football.

While not busy winning two of the past three BCS titles, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has apparently been introducing new terminology into college football. Or at least terminology that originated from his days as a lowly defensive coordinator for then Cleveland Browns HC Bill Belichick.

“In the old days, I called the fifth defensive back nickel back, and we never really played six defensive backs,” he said.

The middle linebacker (Mike) and the weak inside linebacker (Will) stayed in the game, and a defensive back replaced the strong outside linebacker (Sam).

“Well, when I went to Cleveland, everything that Bill Belichick does has some purpose, from what you call blitz to what you call fire-zone front,” Saban said.

“The Star really is the Sam, so he wanted an s-word for that position. When you put six guys in the game, whether it's a sub linebacker or a sixth defensive back, we had nickel, dime, dollar. Different money terms.”

The sixth defensive back takes the place of the weak inside linebacker.

“But when you talk to players, you can say, 'Look, these linebackers on the team are all going to play Money. These DBs on the team are going to learn how to play Money,'” Saban said.

“Because when it comes to the assignments of the defense, the position is the same. It's just they've got four wideouts in there now, so the linebacker can't cover, so we put another DB in there. That make sense?

“So we just started calling that the Money position. It could be nickel, dime or dollar. That was Bill's sort of system, but it made lots of sense to me. Just like everything else we did, we categorized things for the players. I think it made it better for the players.”
Obviously, using money terms has proven successful for Saban and Alabama. Of course, the "money" players can't (officially) earn any money doing their job. But that's neither here nor there.