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MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2007
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Hazlewood’s ex-Tide players:Saban brings new regime to Bama

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

TOWN CREEK — Former Alabama defensive back Antonio Langham has heard the stories about new Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban being tough on his players and figures it isn’t a bad thing.

Langham, a Hazlewood High graduate, spent seven years in the NFL after completing his Alabama career, and he spent his first season with the Cleveland Browns when Saban was in his last season as the team’s defensive coordinator. Saban took the Michigan State head coaching job the next season.

“If you don’t have thick skin, it will be tough working with him,” Langham said. “Nick tries to bring in the players who can win and weed out the kids who won’t make it. Nick wants to be aggressive.”

Now living in Birmingham, Langham returned to Town Creek on Saturday with other ex-Tide standouts to help coach at the Leather Helmet Football Camp at Hazlewood High.

Two other Hazlewood graduates who played for Alabama coached at the camp — former NFL running back Kerry Goode and defensive back Clyde Goode.

Clyde Goode said that he expects around seven wins this season, but that it’s tough to predict with a new coaching staff coming in.

“Bama could have five wins or they could end up having an eight wins season,” he said. “With Saban and his staff, you never know. With Bama, we are expecting at least seven wins.”

He pointed out that it’s clear there is a new regime in charge of the football program. He said that Saban has established a more structured environment in Tuscaloosa.

Clyde Goode said you used to go to the football offices and talk to whatever coach you wanted to see.

Now, former players need appointments. Practices are closed, although former football players can watch on few occasions.

“It is a totally different regime,” Clyde said. “Different coaching staff and different things.”

Kerry Goode said that no matter who is the coach, the job still boils down to simple priorities.

“If you’re at Alabama, you’re judged by my wins and losses, particularly against Auburn and Tennessee,” Kerry Goode said.

“Those have to be a must. And you’re on a skid with Auburn now, and that doesn’t sit well with the folks who are making the decisions.”

However, he added that Saban needs more material to work with.

“They have to increase the talent level,” Goode said. “They were lacking that. Skill level was down and numbers were down.

“Once they get that back up, they’ll be OK. They have a coach who will push them.

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