What Alabama coach Nick Saban said about assistants Drew Svoboda and Todd Watson

James Fletcher
The Tuscaloosa News

Nick Saban is dealing with something that he has never faced in his coaching career.

When Alabama special teams coordinator and tight end coach Jay Graham resigned less than two months into his tenure due to health reasons, the Crimson Tide were forced to start spring practice without a full staff.

Saban named special assistant Todd Watson to fill the role on an interim basis while another search was conducted.

More: Assistant coach Jay Graham cites mental health for sudden resignation

More:5 things to know about Todd Watson

“We’re probably a lot more flexible now when it comes to coaches because last year we had guys in and out,” Saban said Wednesday. “Todd has done a good job of stepping up and helping us get through the spring.”

Watson was initially hired to help with high school relations and assist with offensive and special teams preparation, but Saban says that he has not missed a beat.

Watson joined the staff in February after three years at Tennessee, where he served as the director of football operations.

With the addition of new special teams coordinator and tight end coach Drew Svoboda this week, Saban has initiated a transition of power.

More: Drew Svoboda takes over as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach

“We’re not going to throw him out there in front of the players,” Saban said. “He’s learning our system; he’s learning our scheme and he’s actually having input in the meetings.”

Svoboda was the special teams coordinator at Memphis after spending three seasons as special teams coach at Riice.

Before coaching in the college ranks, Svoboda was on the board of directors for the Texas High School Coaches Association.

“He knows a lot of people in Texas, which we thought was very, very important,” said Saban.