Langham, a former Hazlewood High standout, played one season in the NFL for Nick Saban, the current Alabama head coach. They remain friends now, even though 18 years have passed since Saban was a Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator and Langham a rookie cornerback.
“He’s still teaching the same things now as he did then,” Langham said. “I went to practice back when he first came here and told him that. I think he smiled when he said, ‘The people and the place changes, but the stuff we teach remains the same.’ ”
Langham spoke about Saban for a bit Saturday before Alabama’s home game against Texas A&M. He appeared at the Travelers Chipping Challenge, which raised money for Saban’s charity, Nick’s Kids Fund.
Langham appeared at the event with former 1992 national championship teammates Derrick Lassic and Prince Wimbley. They signed autographs, posed for pictures and chatted with fans.
This is the second time Travelers has brought the charity event to Tuscaloosa this season and the second time Langham has participated. This time, he missed a reception for Alabama’s first-team All-Americans to be part of the Chipping Challenge. Langham, who made All-American in 1992 and 1993, said he enjoyed being around the fans and reminiscing about the national championship season.
He said Saban’s players today have it a little easier than when he played for the coach in Cleveland.
“When you think of him as an assistant coach, he was a lot tougher then than he is now as a head coach in college,” Langham said, smiling. “Then when you consider Bill Belichick was the head coach, you can imagine what it was like.”
Saban’s current players say that when he gets mad, his first words usually will be, “What are you doing?”
When asked if Saban ever said that to him, Langham hesitated before saying, “Well, this is college. In the NFL, the words are a little bit different.”
Langham played seven seasons in the NFL during 1994-2000, including two with Cleveland, three with Baltimore when the franchise moved there, and one each with San Francisco and New England.
As a rookie for Saban in 1994, before the coach moved to Michigan State as head coach, Langham started all 16 games, making 61 tackles and intercepting two passes. Langham now lives in Birmingham and manages and develops real estate. He said he tries to make as many Alabama games as he can. He even drops by practice occasionally.
“If I haven’t been at practice for a while and I come, Coach Saban comes over and says, ‘I need to see you around here more.’ He’ll give me a hard time about it,” Langham said, smiling.