After some testy moments during his Wednesday evening news conference, Alabama coach Nick Saban held his weekly radio show Thursday evening.
Here were the live updates as Saban previewed Saturday’s game against Southern Miss:
-- “I don’t ever think there’s a perfect player,” Saban said, but he then listed several positive qualities about Will Anderson. Like he did Wednesday, Saban commended Anderson for playing hurt against Florida and still being one of the coaches’ players of the week. “Will was gonna play no matter what,” Saban said. “He wants to play for his team. He’s a competitor.”
-- More Saban on Anderson: “[He left] everything [on the field]. That guy is the ultimate competitor. He’s a warrior. From me, that’s a tremendous compliment to a guy.”
-- Saban said someone this week sent him a video of Deion Sanders talking to his team about how practice is where players are conditioned to perform. He said too many players want to “save themselves” and stay fresh for games. He said he sent the Sanders video to all his players.
-- Saban: “I’m not trying to be negative, but we cannot take for granted that we’re always going to have a great team,” Saban said, referencing Ohio State’s Ryan Day telling his team something similar this week.
-- Saban ended his radio show with some inflection in his voice, saying players just “lived through” a passionate, difficult environment in Florida and he does not want anybody to say it’s tougher to play someplace else than Alabama. “I’d appreciate that from everybody if we can do that,” he said. “I’ll do the best I can to get these guys to grow and develop, but let’s everybody be a part of the team.”
-- Asked about the potential of playing SEC teams more often, Saban said he would prefer to play more SEC games but realizes it might not be advantageous for the conference because its the “strongest” and “deepest.” He added that players come to Alabama to play in big games.
-- Saban said he thinks it will be great for Oklahoma and Texas to join the conference. “But I coached in the NFL, so I didn’t play any bad teams. Alls you played was NFL teams. They were all good and all capable of beating you on any given Sunday. The whole league was set up for parity,” he said. “College football is not sort of geared that way. It’s not good that we have everybody interested in who are going to be the four teams in the playoff,” and not all the FBS teams. “I think the more we can play each other, the more it creates that kind of a scenario.”
-- Saban said he’s trying to get his team to “really buy into” the idea of being feared by an opponent, which he said Alabama has been known for in the past. The team has to “mature into that,” he said.
-- Saban said penalties can be traced to bad decisions as a result of players being “emotional.”
-- Asked which wide receivers can continue the trend of being first-round picks, Saban named John Metchie, Jameson Williams and JoJo Earle as those sorts of players. He said other young players have the ability but need to do their jobs consistently. “We do have some players and I think we need to get them in sports where they can make plays,” he said, adding the importance of more explosive plays.
-- Asked about Bryce Young’s decisions to throw outside the pocket instead of running, Saban it is not by design. “We don’t tell the guy not to run,” Saban said. “We don’t have a third-base coach in football that tells the batter to take, bunt or steal every play. Some of these things are instinctive.” Saban then seemed to reference a goal-line incompletion to Cameron Latu in which Young might have had a lane to run. “We can all sit around and say, ‘He should have ran.’ But if the pass would have been completed, nobody would say anything,” Saban said. “It would be fine. The only reason there’s any question is it was incomplete.”
-- Saban said the running backs played well against Florida. He said they hope to get Trey Sanders and other running backs in the game Saturday.
-- Saban said they have worked on defending quarterback options this week and could see Southern Miss run some. He added Golden Eagles running back Frank Gore, Jr. is quick, explosive and “does a really good job.”
-- Saban said some people overlook how Southern Miss has one of the best defenses statistically in the country, adding he would equate it to an “SEC-type defense” with how they have played.
-- Saban has always had a lot of respect for Southern Miss coach Will Hall. He said some coaches are paranoid about letting other coaches visit his operation, as Hall once did, but he has “never, ever had” the attitude that sharing information to help coaches grow is “worth being paranoid about.”
-- Asked about the four-game limit for redshirting, Saban said the rule has been positive for young players’ development but Alabama does not end up with many fifth-year seniors. “I wish we had more,” Saban said, because of graduating players and those drafted to the NFL.
-- Saban said he did not realize he was the Bobby Dodd national coach of the week.
-- Saban: “I probably wasn’t as pleased as what I would like to be. Sometimes you win the game but don’t really beat the other team.” He said there were lessons to be learned. “I still think we need to learn how to compete for 60 minutes in a game and stay focused on what we need to do to maintain our intensity,” he said.
-- Saban: “I don’t think people realize how young our team really is.” He said the 10-player leadership group has only two seniors. “Sometimes when you have really young players, they have trouble listening,” Saban said, adding they would rather defend what they did instead of listening. “When you have a young team, they’re all at a little bit different stage of that development. ... I think that’s one of the things we’re really trying to work through with this team.”
-- Saban said young players need to learn how to grow up, and older players need to help them do that.
-- Saban said the offensive line did a “pretty decent job” in pass protection and a “pretty good job overall” considering Florida played a different defensive front than what was expected. “We were constantly making adjustments on how we were going to block plays and get a hat on a hat,” he said. Saban did say it was disappointing when they had first and goal from the 1-yard line and had to kick a field goal.
-- “I thought he did a really good job,” Saban said of Bryce Young. He said they had to use an abnormal snap count because of the noise and most of their miscues were on the snap count.
-- Asked about Florida’s tight ends becoming involved in the passing game, Saban said Alabama does not have any defenses where they don’t cover the tight end. Florida ran a play five times that Alabama had not seen before in which the linebacker is pulled between covering a potential quarterback run or the tight end’s pass route.
-- Saban said tight end is one of the “toughest, most difficult positions to recruit” because it is three positions in one: wide receiver, fullback and offensive tackle. Saban said “very seldom” an actual high school tight end can play in college; typically college tight ends were bigger wide receivers in high school.
Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter i">>@mikerodak.
Source : https://www.al.com/alabamafootball/2021/09/live-updates-nick-saban-radio-show-before-southern-miss.html1614