Tim Tebow recently joined ESPN’s First Take and broke down how Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been able to change the game of college football over the past decade.
The former Florida quarterback and current SEC Network analyst also commended Georgia on being able to go toe-to-toe physically with the Crimson Tide.
Tebow recalled just how difficult it was trying to prepare for Saban’s brutally agressive defenses in the late 2000s.
“I played against Nick Saban,” Tebow said. “And it is one of the hardest things I have done in my life, to beat a Nick Saban-coached football team. I got to play against Bill Belichick and so many of the best defensive minds, and there is not a brighter defensive mind in the game than Nick Saban.
“Because of his schemes and talents, he got them (Alabama) to the top. When you talk about defense, Nick Saban is up there with the best in the world and is maybe the best of all time as far as defensive minds. Yes, it’s recruiting, but it’s also scheme. What he has done on the defensive side of the football has changed college football.”
Tebow gave a few more details on that Saban defensive scheme:
“Take a look at 2008, 2009, 2010 when they had a 3-4 defense, 250-pound middle linebackers and a defensive line that would stop the run,” Tebow said. “His combination coverage would take away any of the air for receivers since and would make it so stressful to have a passing game. There were only two things you could do to have success. It was throw the deep ball and have a quarterback that would drop back in a pass and run. For years, the only way to beat Alabama was to have a quarterback play out of his mind and also be super athletic.”
And that’s why Tebow was so impressed with Georgia, even after Alabama beat the Bulldogs 26-23 in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game:
“So when we talk about how to ‘out-Alabama’ Alabama, that was the first time I saw it, the first half (Monday, Jan. 8),” Tebow said. “Because no one can do it. They win at the line of scrimmage and stop the run, then take away easy, rhythmic passing. You have to take shots.”
Tebow referenced South Carolina throwing it up to Alshon Jeffery to win the game against ‘Bama in 2010.
“Or how Ole Miss took shot after shot and hit enough to have 35 points … Or how we did at Florida with the quarterback/run balance and taking shots, as well,” Tebow added. “There was no other way to beat them. What Georgia did was so impressive.
“And that’s how Saban changed college football.”
Source: Saturday Down South