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Sport Nick Saban seems to feel his ex-coaches crossed the line by poaching

19:16  11 december  2019
19:16  11 december  2019 Source:   yardbarker.com

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Like any successful head coach, Nick Saban has had many assistants who worked under him move on to take head coaching jobs with other programs. He’s happy they have gotten those opportunities, but it seems like the six-time national champion is not pleased with some former members of his staff violating unwritten rules.

  Nick Saban seems to feel his ex-coaches crossed the line by poaching © Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The first installment of the HBO Sports documentary “Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching” aired on Tuesday, and Saban had some surprising remarks that hinted at tension between him and former Alabama assistants Kirby Smart, who has been coaching at Georgia since 2016, and Jeremy Pruitt, who is the head coach at Tennessee. Saban indicated that he did not appreciate those two coaches poaching members of his staff when they left Tuscaloosa.

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“We’ve always had sort of a mutual respect for how we sort of take each other’s people,” Saban said of his relationship with Belichick, under whom he used to coach. “It’s one thing that I always try to emphasize to the guys: what I have a tough time with, aight, is we’ve had however many guys who have worked here who are at Georgia, Tennessee — whoever, wherever — is when they get those jobs, and in most cases you’ve helped them, is they have a hard time understanding why they can’t take your people.”

As Mike Rodak of AL.com notes, Smart’s co-defensive coordinator at Georgia is former Alabama director of player development Glenn Schumann. Tennessee defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley came to Knoxville from the Oakland Raiders, but he was a graduate assistant and defensive backs coach under Saban prior to that. Pruitt also hired former Alabama director of player development Kerry Stevenson.

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“I’m gonna help you get a job, [only] so that you can take what I’ve tried to build here and destroy the continuity of what I have?” Saban added. “It’s amazing how some of the assistants don’t understand why that’s not a good thing.”

Belichick agreed.

“Look, I’m happy for the people that have worked hard for me to get opportunities,” the Patriots coach said.. “I want to see them build their own program. When they try to tear down our program, that’s kind of where the line, I feel like, gets crossed.”

Judging by what we saw two weeks ago, Belichick could be referring to Texans coach Bill O’Brien, who used to be the offensive coordinator for the Patriots. Belichick gave O’Brien an extremely weak handshake after Houston beat the Pats in Week 13, and there is speculation that he is still unhappy with his former assistant after O’Brien tried to hire Patriots executive Nick Caserio during the offseason.

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Saban and Belichick share a lot of the same principles, which is why they have such a close relationship. Poaching is clearly one of the things they both feel passionate about.

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