Coach Saban Speaks Out on Jay Graham’s Departure
In last night's post-practice press conference, coach Nick Saban gave us his personal take on Jay Graham’s departure from the university. Joining the team’s staff less than two months ago, Graham released a statement on Twitter explaining why he was leaving.
“I am taking time away from football to seek professional help immediately, gain a better understanding of mental health and spend time with loved ones,” stated Graham.
"I think you all saw the statement that Jay Graham put out. Jay made a decision to do what he did and we’re going to support him every way we can. And we certainly wish him and his family the best. Obviously our plan is to improvise and adjust. I think we have other people that can help coach special teams," said Saban. "Todd Watson, who was a special assistant, intern, doing special teams, we just activated him to do it for now and we’ll start a search and see if we can find the best coach. There’s no timetable for doing that. We want to really try to get the best person we can get. It’s not an ideal time, lots of people in spring practice. So we’ll just have to see how it goes and how that process ends up. We just started that a little bit today"
Before coming to Alabama, Watson served as Tennessee’s director of football operations and programming in 2020. He has spent time in the state of Alabama, working as defensive coordinator of Hoover High School – winning four state championships and was head coach of Foley High School for 10 years. During his time at Foley, he helped evolve former Crimson Tide superstars, Julio Jones, D.J. Fluker, and Robert Lester.
Having an impressive career as a high school coach and on the operations side of college football, Watson could possibly earn the job full time. The only way for him to secure the position is to perform at the highest level that he can for Saban and the team.
Graham’s decision to step down and focus on his mental health provides us an example that we must take care of ourselves before pushing ourselves to the limit.