Dolphins offensive lineman Anthony Steen was a three-year starter at Alabama, but he went undrafted after his performance dropped off when he played through a shoulder injury his senior year. Now that he’s in the NFL, Steen thinks Dolphins coach Nick Saban took things too far in the way he pushed players through injuries.
Steen told the Palm Beach Post he now regrets waiting until the end of his senior season to have the shoulder injury he needed, and he thinks Saban’s approach leaves Alabama players hurt.
“If you can work through pain, you can go. But at ‘Bama, that was the problem,” Steen said. “A lot of things you went through and you shouldn’t have. You should have stayed off of it. That’s why a lot of guys from ‘Bama are hurt.”
Saban has heard such criticism before, and called it “really unfair.” He has also recently bristled at criticism for using former NFL players at his practices. Saban likes to point out that his program produces more NFL talent than anyone, so he must be doing something right.
Still, both of these things could be true: Saban could be better than any other coach at getting players ready for the NFL, and he could also sometimes go too far in the wear and tear he puts on his players’ bodies. Steen may be a good example of a player who got prepared for the NFL at Alabama, and a player who got worn down by the beating he took at Alabama.