Nick Saban is preparing his team for a run at a third-straight national championship, but while he is working on his own team there are NFL coaches picking Saban’s brain. Saban said that coaches are coming to him for information on how to stop the read-option that has taken the NFL by storm.
“Several NFL coaches have come to visit this year to say, ‘How do you stop these guys?’ Because they’re not accustomed to seeing that,” Saban said on ESPN, via Pro Football Talk.
With the NFL being a passing league, Saban says that the current philosophy of defenses is to get up field and rush the passer. Unfortunately, when quarterbacks are running the read-option. they are able to use their mobility to avoid the pass rush and take advantage of the defenses over-aggressive pursuit.
“That’s a pass-rush oriented league,” Saban said. “People getting up the field to pass rush is what it’s all about because of the type of quarterbacks — the Tom Bradys of the world, Drew Brees, that’s what you’ve got to stop. You’ve got to put pressure on the quarterback. Well, that’s just what you don’t want to do against [read-option quarterbacks]. You have to play on the line of scrimmage just like old option football.”
Saban didn’t last as an NFL head coach, but his experience in the college game where the read-option is used more often has made him a valuable asset to NFL teams.
You can expect that the Alabama head coach will continue to have teams coming to him for advice to learn the tricks of the trade that have made Saban college football’s most dominant coach.