On Tuesday, Alabama football head coach Nick Saban responded to his former quarterback Greg McElroy suggesting the legendary coach's reign was likely in its final stages.
McElroy, who led the Tide to a national championship in 2009, voiced his concern with his alma mater's future on ESPN’s “Always College Football” podcast.
“This is the first time that I have ever actually been concerned about the future of the program," McElroy, now a football analyst, outlined. "The first time.”
"I have seen them lose when people have said, 'The dynasty is over.' I have seen people back in 2014 say that this team will never regain their prowess and their strength," he continued. "I have seen coach after coach after coach depart for what they might consider to be greener pastures. I've seen everything that this program has endured in the last several years, and I have never been concerned about whether or not they'd be better tomorrow than they were today.
"I've always thought regardless of where the program was at, that as long as Nick Saban was there, they're going to be just fine. I've also never gone as far as to say that Nick Saban should leave, or, 'This coach should fired,' and, 'This guy is terrible and needs to be benched.' I've never gone about it in that fashion. I don't believe in it. I'm not a hot-take artist. I'm not one that's going to go into the whole, 'Well, if this doesn't work, everyone should be fired.' I'm not a, 'Well, everything's always greener on the other side' type of guy. That's just not the way I look at it. I try to be pragmatic, I try to be understanding, and I try to be thoughtful. Well, right now, Alabama feels like it's at a little bit of a crossroads."
He went on to say that Alabama was on "more shaky footing than it's been in quite some time."
During the weekly SEC teleconference, Saban responded to McElroy by noting his team had only "lost two games by a total of four points."
"We work every day to try to play to a standard, and we've had a lot of good teams around here for a long time‚" Saban stated. "We lost two games by a total of four points, both on the last play of the game. Are there are a lot of things we could do better? Are we satisfied with where we are as a team? Absolutely not."
He added, "But at the same time, sometimes when the standard is so high, there may be some occasion where you don't quite meet the standard and the expectation that everybody has for you. I do think that standard and expectation has not been something that has helped this team focus on the right things, stay focused on the process, not get so concerned about the results but what you've got to do to get the results. And that's something that we've been trying to emphasize with them."
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