Here is Coach Sarkisian’s first full press conference, via AL.com. There is a lot to unpack here in his 59-minute long presser.
You walk away with the feeling that Alabama has upgraded schematically and in terms of an overall coach for the players. Sark comes off as a deferential, focused and humbled man who is eager to learn from the best and how to be better at his craft. At the same time, you can plainly hear the fire that he has for the game, for coaching, and, yes, the self-confidence that he has in his abilities. Perhaps the most important impression that you are left with is that Sark is a strong personality who is affable enough to connect with players, but professionally self-aware enough to be comfortable as part of a staff filled with strong, and occasionally domineering, personalities.
Of course, there are a lot of nuts and bolts questions in here as well. Some highlights include:
- Tempo and unscripted playcalling (big fan of tempo)
- Calling the field in the booth vs. on-the-field (he’ll be on the sideline)
- College vs. pro coaching (not a Shieldball guy)
- Learning a new offense, a new way of doing things, and buying in to the Process (yes, there is one; and, yes, he sounded surprised that it really existed. LOL.)
- Philosophy: His mantra is balance. Coach Kiffin rode the hot hand and a marquee player. You get the sense from his comments, and from Coach Saban’s press conference on Friday, that the ball will be distributed more evenly.
- Coach Saban’s aggressive gameplanning and aggressive coaching.
- Similarities between Coach Saban and Coach Carroll (they are more alike than they are different — which frankly surprised me to hear.)
- Clemson’s personnel and how the defense attacks
- There is a bunch more here. And, I do realize it is long. But, if you can spare an hour, you will walk away with a much better feeling than you may have already had and more than a little impressed. Alabama got a good one.