Bob Holt has taken a backseat at SEC Media Days 2021. It’s the Adam Luckett show in the Grand Ballroom of the Wynfrey Hotel. KSR’s proprietor of AnaLucketts has brought hard-hitting questions for every SEC football coach, making no exception for Nick Saban.
The greatest coach to ever grace a college football sideline took the podium Wednesday morning. Hoping to potentially get Saban to talk X’s and O’s extensively, Luckett prepared a question about 12 personnel, a.k.a. two-tight end offenses, like the one Liam Coen will utilize often this fall in Lexington.
Like Bill Belichick, sometimes Saban does not have time for questions from the peanut gallery he deems as inconsequential. Also like Belichick, if you get him on the right football topic, he can talk and talk and talk and talk. Luckett almost got Saban hook, line and sinker, but the top man in Tuscaloosa threw him a curveball.
After teasing him a bit about 12 Personnel, Saban provided this complete response:
“Look, I think things always sort of cycle, and I think that the trend has been — and in a very positive way the trend has been very productive to be in the spread and to spread the field with three and four wide receivers and four open formations and implement RPOs and lots of screens and spread the field and make the defense defend 53 yards wide and 100 yards deep, which has not always been the case when the more people that line up tight — I call it wad ball — the more constrictive you can be in terms of how you create space for offensive players to make plays.
“So I do think that defenses are catching up and creating more issues with some of the things that they do, and people who get back in regular formation as we do — we never, ever abandon that. That’s always been a part of what we do to run the ball. People have a more difficult time adjusting to that, which used to be the starting point of where you taught everything that you did.
“So I can see that there may be some movement back in that direction to more conventional type football to people that spend time on the direct runs and things that you create in regular formation.”
Not only did Luckett get Saban to talk X’s and O’s, the birthday boy got a laugh or two or three in the process. Mission accomplished.