Sugar Bowl: Tide's Nussmeier gets a chance to revisit his former home
by Marq Burnett
Dec 29, 2013 | 1824 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier talks to reporters during the Alabama offensive press conference Sunday at the Marriot at Convention Center in New Orleans.  (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier talks to reporters during the Alabama offensive press conference Sunday at the Marriot at Convention Center in New Orleans. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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NEW ORLEANS -- For Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, this trip to the Sugar Bowl is a homecoming of sorts.

Nussmeier spent four seasons playing quarterback for the New Orleans Saints (1994-97) and was excited to return.

“New Orleans is a special city for our family,” Nussmeier said during his Sunday news conference. “I met my wife here, was fortunate enough to play for the Saints for four years which was an outstanding time and left lasting memories.”

Nussmeier was loose and laid back during Alabama’s offensive media day, his first time speaking to reporters since August.

Under Nussmeier’s watch, Alabama’s offense posted the school's highest point total last season (542 points) and third highest this year (465). With that success as a coordinator comes interest from other schools for head coaching positions.

Nussmeier was one of the top candidates for the head coaching job at Washington, which eventually went to Boise State’s Chris Peterson.

Nussmeier served as Washington's offensive coordinator from 2009-2011 before joining Alabama in 2012. Nussmeier was asked about his interest in job.

“I feel very, very fortunate to be a part of this program and to be the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama,” he said. “I would like to be a head coach some day in the right situation. Having the ties that I have to the University of Washington and understanding what that program is about, that was an opportunity for our family and Coach Saban fully supported it.”

Saban has said multiple times that he believes both his coordinators will be good head coaches when the time is right.

“Doug’s done a really good job for us,” Saban said last month. “I think that he does a really good job of teaching the players. I think he does a really good job of communicating with the players. I think he has a good relationship with them. I think that the things that he tries to do and that we try to do and they react and respond very well to him. I think he's become a very good play caller, and I just think he’s done a good job all the way around.”

When Saban recently brought in former USC coach Lane Kiffin to evaluate the offense, speculation swirled about how Nussmeier would handle it.

But Nussmeier appreciates Saban and all of the work he does to help the staff and the team succeed both on and off the field.

“Coach Saban does an outstanding job for us from a professional development standpoint, and we’ve spent a lot of time visiting NFL and college programs and vice versa, having people come and see us,” Nussmeier said. “It’s a great way to grow like we talked about. We’re always looking to improve, do things better.”

Nussmeier’s next challenge will be designing a plan to attack the Oklahoma defense.

“They’re extremely athletic,” he said. “They’ve got great team speed, great length. They do a really good job of mixing up their scheme. … They play physical, they play fast. We’re going to have to play our best game.”
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