Jalen Hurts, Nick Saban and staying away from 'rat poison'


Jalen Hurts may have transferred out of Alabama after the 2018 season, but he didn’t leave Nick Saban too far behind.

Hurts, who spent three years with Saban at Alabama before becoming the Heisman Trophy runner-up last year at Oklahoma, invoked a phrase Wednesday that Saban made famous in 2017.

Alabama was 6-0 in October of 2017 when Hurts and the Crimson Tide struggled to beat Texas A&M 27-19 in College Station.

After the game, Saban said one of the reasons his team wasn’t prepared was because of ... rat poison.

Rat poison?

“I’m trying to get our players to listen to me instead of listening to you guys (in the media),” he said. “All that stuff you write about how good we are, all that stuff they hear on ESPN, it’s like poison. It’s like taking poison. ... Like rat poison.” 

Fast forward three years and two months.

Hurts, getting set to make his third NFL start, was asked how he blocks out noise and potential distractions that come with the job.

“Yeah, I try and stay away from the rat poison,” said Hurts, the Eagles' rookie 2nd-round pick.

Rat poison?

“You gotta ask coach Saban. He knows a little bit about rat poison, too.”

Then he explained:

“It’s all external factors. External factors that are no good for us and what we're trying to do as a team. ... I just focus on what I need to focus on. Focus on winning. Preparing. And just doing my job, coming in every day. And going to work. That's how I focus on everything.”


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