Nick Saban was in Birmingham on Wednesday to participate in the annual Regions Tradition Pro-Am as he has every year since becoming Alabama's head coach, but this year he carried the title of former Alabama football head coach.

Saban has been retired for around four months and has been enjoying his time away from coaching by spending time with family, playing golf and doing NFL Draft work for ESPN. Before teeing off for his round at Greystone Golf & Country Club, Saban took a moment and answered questions from the media.

Having coached for half a century at such a high level, it would be safe to assume it was the competition or winning national championships that he would miss the most. Instead, when asked what he missed the most, he said it was forming relationships with the players.

"Relationships with players," Saban responded quickly. "I actually played golf with Mark Ingram and Tua [Tagovailoa] on Monday. I had them up, and we played. Those relationships that you have with players, there's nothing that beats that. But we care about them all so we'll continue those relationships."

While he may be retired from coaching, he hasn't stopped surrounding himself around the game he loves. Saban will serve a role as an analyst on ESPN's "College GameDay" beginning next season. College football fans got their first look at Saban in his new role when he sat on set for the NFL Draft, breaking down the selections.

"I did enjoy it," Saban said about covering the NFL Draft. "It's a lot of preparation. I did enjoy the team that we were with and got a lot of good direction, learned a lot. It's challenging, something new. But that's some of the stuff we were looking forward and one of the things that I look forward to now is since I'm one of you I can ask the questions."

With his new role as a college football analyst with ESPN, Saban will have to put all bias aside and make game picks as well as making tough decisions like who his preseason No. 1 pick is this year.

"I hadn't even thought about that yet," Saban replied. "I'm going to need to do a little research on that, but there's going to be a lot of good teams. It's interesting right now to try and figure out who's who because of the movement of players until that all settles down and you know exactly who's going to play on what team. Then you can make a better judgment."

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