On the surface, Nick Saban and Adam Gase don’t seem all that similar. Rookie first-round cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick sees it differently.
Which makes sense, given that Gase once worked for Saban.
“They’re both very passionate coaches,” Fitzpatrick told reporters on Tuesday. “They’re both really hands-on. The only difference is Coach Saban yells a little bit more. But that’s about it. Coach Gase is a great coach. He’s a real energetic coach. All of the players love playing for him. I love playing for him and I’m happy that he’s my head coach.”
Fitzpatrick laughed when he said Saban “yells a little bit more,” and Saban gave Fitzpatrick high praise before the draft, suggesting that Fitzpatrick should be a top-five pick.
And Fitzpatrick definitely feels prepared to play in the NFL after playing college football for Saban.
“If you utilize all of your resources at Alabama, you’re definitely going to be prepared,” Fitzpatrick said. “Whether it’s the coaches, the physical training staff or just whatever. If you put 110-percent effort into it, you’re going to be prepared. Just the scheme, it’s almost the same exact thing. There’s small little differences that you’ve got to learn, but the scheme’s almost the same exact thing as Alabama. I’d just say the scheme and overall, I think we were prepared really well at Alabama.”
After the draft, Gase addressed the decision to draft Fitzpatrick, among other things. And Gase surely knows Saban well enough to realize that, if Saban feels strongly enough about Fitzpatrick to heap that kind of praise on him, Fitzpatrick may be the real deal.