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Mike Johnson Reflects on Nick Saban’s Arrival at Alabama [Audio]

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Ten years ago, the landscape of college football began to change as the University of Alabama hired Nick Saban to lead the Crimson Tide football program.

After notching 119 wins, four national championships and five SEC titles in his first decade, Saban will begin his second decade as Alabama’s head coach with a season opening clash against Florida State.

During Tuesday’s edition of The Gary Harris Show, former Alabama and Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Mike Johnson reflected on Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa.

As an offensive lineman for Alabama from 2006-2009, Johnson mentioned his initial reaction to the news that Saban was taking over as Alabama’s head coach.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that there were a lot of changes coming. For the most part, we were excited.” Johnson said.

The All-American lineman was a key member of Nick Saban’s first national championship team and his only undefeated team in 2009.  Johnson looked back at how the 2009 team pulled off Saban’s only undefeated season at Alabama.

“We had to pull different tactics to win different games. You point to Mark Ingram against South Carolina in 2009. He comes in and really plays quarterback for almost the entire fourth quarter and runs the wildcat and runs for 250 yards, and Tennessee with a couple of blocked kicks.” Johnson said. “It was a special year. Something we felt like was meant to happen and once we got closer and closer to the prize, I think we felt like we wouldn’t be denied all the way through that Iron Bowl victory that was a real nail bitter too. We ended up taking out our aggression on Florida at the end of that year and everything kind of fell into place to move on to Texas and win that ring.”

Johnson also reminisced about his NFL playing days with the Atlanta Falcons, the injury issues he faced in pro football and a game against New Orleans where he scored a touchdown.

Tune into The Gary Harris Show every weekday from 9-11 AM on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the radioPup app.

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