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A Psychoanalysis of Nick Saban

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PonyExpress, May 31, 2006.

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  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    I am not a psychoanalayst, but in order to defeat your enemy you have to crawl inside his brain-housing group and see what ticks. As a result, i have been paying some attention to the Dolphins: Watching Saban's press conferences, reading his interviews, gauging the attitude of the players and the team and I think I have pretty much drawn my conclusions about who Nick Saban is as a coach.
    Fist of all, Saban is a complete egomaniac who loves to hear himself talk. He can't get enough of it. He thinks he is brilliant, a real senior professor of football, and enjoys pontificating in front of large audiences. He likes to use his hands when he speaks, as though they help to lead the smaller minds around him along to understand his grandiose ideas. From his acquisitions, he believes he can take any player, no matter how spotty his background, and transform him by force of will into an A+ student, the attitude of the benevolent dictator. He has some personal charisma, which has infected the Miami team with a kind of confident swagger. He has instituted a program with a real purpose and has his own "newspeak", using catch phrases of his own invention, like "Invest in the process" and other gobbledygook, which the players seem to have accepted for the time being. Also, as he has grown more comfortable in his position his former reluctance to speak to the press has melted away, and he now can't speak to them enough, loving to put his brilliance on display.
    What separates him from BB, is that Saban is more charismatic, but also more egomaniacal and therefore less humble and grounded. Therefore I suspect that his success, when he achieves it will not be as consistent or enduring as BB's, but will flame out when players realize he is full of goose-poop. The closest comparison I believe there is in the league to Saban is Mike Shanahan. I see Saban as a Mike Shanahan clone, with the same strengths and one major weakness, the belief he can shine sh*t with sheer force of his "messianic" will.
    Last edited: May 31, 2006
  2. Brady-To-Branch

    Brady-To-Branch Rookie

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    Unlike BB, this is Saban's first NFL HC job. Moreover, he doesn't seem to have a strong personnel guy like BB has in Pioli. They may share similar philosophies in defense, but personnel-wise, I haven't been all that impressed with his moves.

    JMHO :)
  3. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    Just popped in to nominate "A Psychoanalysis of Nick Saban" as the best thread title of recent weeks.

    BTW I think/hope you're chasing the wrong enemy here. Broncos, Steelers, Colts all give me more to worry about than Miami.
  4. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    College coaches often turn around "bad seeds" looking for a father figure. Look at Pete Carrolls championship teams now unraveling.

    What Saban doesn't understand and seasoned pros like BB do, is this doesn't work in the pros.

    Reason one money. Give a fool money and he only becomes a mega fool.

    Freedom. These guys are not in a dorm room singing Kum-Baya.

    They are out on the street trying to spend reason 1.

    Good luck Nick.:bricks:
  5. stcjones

    stcjones Rookie

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    good analysis


    good overall analysis......I am not impressed with Saban at all yet. If you remember when the doofins were 3-7.......they were ready to run Saban out of town.....now they win their remaining 6 games (4 out of 6 against 4-12 teams, and 1 against our scrubs) and all fo a sudden they are going to put a statue of Saban up next to Shula's.........I don't think Saban is 1/4 the genius and incredible coach that BB is.........apples and oranges.....one man's opinion
  6. R_T26

    R_T26 Banned

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    saban is a man who wrote a book about coaching before he ever even won anything.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2005
  7. patriotsrule

    patriotsrule Rookie

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    Don't I remember the Pats beating the Jets twice, the Bills and the Saints in their final six games? I wouldn't talk about beating up on poor competition last year because the Patriots lived off of it and that's just a fact.
  8. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In reading over your analysis I found myself nodding - basically nailed him.
  9. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) BB went out of his way not to hire morons. From what I've read, he respects Saban's intelligence and football knowledge (not the case with Parcells, who thought BB was doomed to never be a head coach because of his charisma gap.)

    2) I will give you this: it might be (and I emphasize "might") that a "football nerd's football nerd," the kind necessary to run a BB-level program, might necessarily manifest in an essentially introverted personality, like BB's. This is not in any way proven. It could well be that Saban just believes that shmoozing with press (or rebelling against same, or using the press to deliver misinformation, which may be his current tack,) is useful, whereas BB believes that any interaction with the press could give an adversary an edge. Further, we have no proof that a propagandist using the football press is inherently less likely to be successful than a hermit avoiding it.

    3) It is a settled issue - Saban is what he is, BB is what he is. That one is a "better" style of personality is as disfunctional a belief as Parcells' belief that Belichick did not have the "charisma" to go beyond an assistant coach position.

    4) Are they drinking the kool-aid in Miami? That's all that matters, not whether we like Saban's style in NE (or in my case, in VA.)

    The point here is, that we have a winning model based on a very intelligent, but somewhat introverted guy, and have therefore made a quantum leap to the belief that all winning models are based on such guys. There use to be a belief that winning fed on itself, was all about swagger, etc. I find it refreshing to see a BB win it all 3 times in 5 years. That does not mean that there cannot be other intelligent coaches out there who look a bit more camera-friendly than our own fearless leader.

    Yeah, give me BB any day. Jury is still out on Saban though.

    PFnV
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  10. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    I am not suggesting that Saban is not a threat to be reckoned with. In fact my interest in him is based on the fact I consider him a threat. In fact, most NFL coaches are egomanical schmoozes who love the sound of their own voices. I equate them very closely with Military Generals, or possibly colonels, who often are incredibly infatuated with themselves, and have a bunch of theories on life and vapid catch-phrases. This in no way suggests these types are not successful. In fact, they are often highly successful, but no less absurd. In fact, I expect a Shanahan/Parcells type of success from Saban: Shanahan in his crazy desire to collect turd players, and Parcells in his ability to burn out a team in a relatively short period with his barely tolerable schtick.
  11. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

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    Almost word for word what I was going to post. Very nicely done and astute observations Pony.
  12. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The only thing I disagree with is Saban is more charismatic than BB...

    I can listen to BB all day, I find Saban interesting, but he pales in comparison to our coach. It is not what BB says, but more what he does not. I saw him in New Haven in March, enjoyed him very much and could have listened to him for hours at that time. If and when Saban wins 3 SB's, has to cut a player like Zach Thomas and is able to weather the storm, goes through a public separation & reunification with his wife and always maintains the high road then maybe I will respect him more. Right now he is just a very good college coach trying to make it in the NFL.
  13. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dumb question of the week: Is Nick Saban related to Lou Saban? I know I should know this ...
  14. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, son (I think).
  15. groundgame

    groundgame Rookie

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    I have also conducted an extensive psychoanalyis on the patient Saban, and my conclusion is that the subject is a far superior coach than my former patient Dave Wannsted.
  16. Hoodie

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    We do tend to think BB's way is the only way. And that's clearly not true. It works for BB because his players believe in him and when he says "if we do these three things, we'll win," they do. The Phins can drink all the koolaid they want but if Saban's game plans fail, he'll lose them.
  17. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    Based on his brief experience at Miami thus far, I've come to a few conclusion on Mr. Saban.

    1.) His teams are always extremely well prepared.
    2.) He is very competitive and has done a good job of instilling that competitiveness in his players.
    3.) He knows defense. If he's not on the BB level, he's very close. His team made great adjustments from game to game and even from quarter to quarter last year.
  18. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My opinion is that the average Joe wouldn't like any successful NFL HC if they knew them personally.
    I see bundles of criticism on this site about 'ego'.
    The reality is that the primary quality of a successful HC (or leader inn any field) is ego. Perhaps confidence is a better word, but you will fail miserably if as an NLF HC if you do not believe your way is the right way, that your decisions will be good, and you will not hesitate in making them, and you must exude extreme confidence or those following you will slowly rebel (see Herm Edwards who at the first sign of trouble distanced himself from it).

    Of course Saban is egotistical. You are nuts if you dont think BB has an ego larger than anyone. I see little difference in BBs sheltering his ego publicly and Saban not. Within their teams---which is all that matters---they are similar in this area, and not unlike 90% of NFL HCs.

    The difference is that BBs public communication style is to not talk down to people while Saban has a tendency to. Behind a closed door in front of the same reporters and off the record, they would sound the same.

    If the point of this thread is dont worry about Saban being a good coach because unlike BB he hasa huge ego, the reality is that if the claim of his ego is accurate, that is more reason to think he will be good, and egos would be a SIMILARITY between the 2.
  19. Hoodie

    Hoodie Rookie

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    I think you're right about it being confidence as opposed to ego. Ego to me means it's all about me. BB is the antithesis of that. He likes to win but he realizes he can't win by himself and he's also humble enough to realize that other people have good ideas and he seeks those people out to learn from them. I think he thinks that arrogance and ego lead to complacency and that leads to failure.
  20. PatsFanInVa

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    We may be devolving into semantics here, but "ego" versus "confidence" is a pretty important distinction, as I've come to understand the words.

    I look at Parcells as an "ego" guy, and that serves him well in subordinating and channeling other egos around him (including for years, BB - but also, for example, Terry Glenn, who has been useless in this league under any other coach's tuteledge.) But Parcells is not that smart in terms of Xs and Os.

    I don't think Belichick goes home and says to himself "my God, I'm a fraud! I got lucky all these years and really I am a worthless worm!" I do, however, think he goes home and says "dynasty, shmynasty. I could still be out of a job in a couple years. Anybody can in this business. I think so-and-so has an interesting take on (for instance) what to do if linebacker depth is this year's issue... I'll meet with him tomorrow...." The proof of this is that Belichick went out and hired Scott Paoli in large part to break down film... which BB does better than anybody in the league. He kept Ernie Adams around because he knew that Adams knew football - not because BB himself does not know football, but because his own ego does not consume his outlook. "Glory" is not doled out in zero-sum parcels in the Belichick world, and in many cases it seems he would be just as happy skipping his own helping. He wants the win more than the glory.

    I think Saban shares much of the above. I think he's not at BB's level but close, in terms of work ethic, football smarts, and realism. I don't think he's as seduced by media exposure as is posited here.

    Me, I'd like to see Saban succeed, just not at the Pats' expense. I'd like to see Weis and Crennel succeed too. I'd like "guys that know football" to succeed, in short, and I would be happy to see "guys that think the NFL has to look more like the NBA" - notably T.O - succeed in their own way, that is, individually, and have them be seen as poisons to any given team. It's healthy for the league to be back to its roots as the ultimate team game.

    I think BB has all the confidence in the world, at the same time that he understands in every fiber of his being, that confidence or no, he can still coach a bad game next week or make the wrong draft pick next year - or ultimately be out of a job one day. That's just reality. Ego not properly checked is an impediment in recognizing reality. Confidence is the ability to participate in creating reality.

    PFnV
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