Saban’s Monday press conference (transcript)

Alabama Head Football Nick Saban Press Conference Transcript
(courtesy of UA)

Opening Statement:
“The big thing in looking at the film that we saw was we didn’t execute things the way we needed to. I think that was fairly obvious. There are probably reasons for that, my thoughts being consistency and execution comes from mental energy, intensity, enthusiasm which come from purpose and respect. These things get done week in and week out based on what you do every day. Every thought, every decision, how you prepare, all those kind of things. Basically most of our offensive problems were caused by, not the plays that were called, but a lack of execution. Not blocking the plays correctly, not blocking the pass protections correctly and defensively we gave up plays. A couple third down plays, a couple big plays in the game we broke down defensively. We broke down a little bit too in terms of what we need to do defensively to stop them and get off the field. Not being on the field for the long drives. On a couple long drives they were able to engineer we had plenty of opportunities to get off the field on third down. It is one of those do you believe me now type of things with the players in terms of there are no breathers in college football. You need to respect the opponents. It is what we harped all last week. Game before is over, you can’t be affected by that you have to focus on what is happening now and what is happening in the future and be ready to go play. You have to develop a killer instinct that comes from playing to your capacity and that is where your burning desire is to be as good as you can be. You can’t be indifferent in who you are playing. You can’t be indifferent about the circumstances in the game. You can’t be indifferent about your preparation and that is something this game is going to hopefully give our players an opportunity to learn. The good news is everything that didn’t go well in the game is all correctable. Players have shown an ability to do it. The key is that they learn their lesson well and that we go execute better in the future with more consistency and that will be important.

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“The good news was the special teams played really well in the game. Javier (Arenas) was outstanding in punt return. Obviously a lot of people on special teams contributed to that. Our drive starts on kickoffs were better. Kickoff coverage was a little bit better. We made improvements in the kicking game. It was a bit of a problem when we lost Leigh Tiffin for a little bit in the game, missing an extra point, missing a field goal but we still need to make improvements in every phase of the game and that is certainly what we will focus on during this week with our players.

“Injury-wise I think everybody is ok. We had three guys that had some kind of head injuries in the game. Leigh Tiffin, Javier and Charlie Higgenbotham got cleared up and they are fine. Marlon Davis has a little bit of a hamstring injury and he is going to try and go today. Andre (Smith) is going to practice today. Earl Alexander is going to do some things today but these guys will all be day-to-day based on the work load and what their response to the work load is. The rest of the guys will be ok. Those guys (Smith and Alexander) are going to be day-to-day and we will see how they work through it.

“Western Kentucky has a good program and a good team, they win a lot of games and have had a lot of success in the six years that David Elson has been there. They run the spread offense which is a little bit of a problem because it is totally different than what we have played against to this point. It is going to be a whole new preparation for the defensive players which will hopefully be challenging to them. They have played pretty well on defense. They have 14 starters back and a lot of experienced players. They have some explosive players that can make plays on special teams, they have a very good running back that gained over 1,000 yards. You need to respect your opponent, you need to prepare, you need to go out and play with the kind of intensity, enthusiasm, sense of urgency to make plays because all you have to do is look at the scoreboard every week in college football. Every week it happens to someone, sometimes more than one. It is all about mindset and getting ready to play your best football. That is something we are going to have to continue to work on so that we show consistency in our performance.”

On the passing game struggles:
“We had a couple opportunities on offense but we missed a couple big plays. We had guys open, we overthrew them. Early in the game I don’t think the pass protection was what it needed to be. But I also think that we didn’t play well in the passing game as a group. The receivers didn’t run good routes, we didn’t play fast, we missed a hot, we missed a pick up by a back, it was all not just the offensive line. The receiver break hot when he is not hot. Your counting on your guys doing what they are supposed to be doing so you have a chance to execute and once that doesn’t happen that puts a lot of doubt in people’s minds. I don’t think we executed very well. If you are going to play well at quarterback the people around you need to execute well. I don’t think we got enough consistency in that for anyone to play well at that position and they didn’t do anything different than we prepared for and I am sure that if you asked John Parker (Wilson) he would say he could play a lot better but at the same time the people around him need to help him play better too. We need to show a little more leadership as a group so that if we do flatten out we can bounce out of it. The one thing that I did see is there was no negative attitude on the sidelines. We may not have had the enthusiasm that we needed, we may not have had the intensity we needed but the players worked hard to fight through it and they sustained it and that is probably why we found a way to win. “

On where the team is at after Clemson and now Tulane:
“It tells me that we don’t have the maturity to sort of take ownership and responsibility for playing at a high standard all the time, which is what you would like your team to do. We have to continue to work with our players to get that. We didn’t show that maturity in this game and it is something we need to work on.”

On visiting with the Tulane team:
“We made one of our rooms in the stadium available to them and fed them after the game. They couldn’t get back to their dorms until early the next morning. First of all they went through a tremendous sacrifice to even come here and play the game. They are away from their fellow students, friends, family; out of school for a week worrying about a weather situation that could impact them dramatically one way or the other. To me they must have prepared well because they played really well in game. They played with a lot of intensity and toughness in the game and I respect that in all competitors. I told them that I appreciated them for making a sacrifice to play the game and to make the sacrifice and play as well as they did was something that did not go unnoticed by us and that we held what they did in high esteem. I wished them well on the rest of their season and told their coaches they did a fantastic job of keeping their team together through the adversity that they had to face in preparation for the game.”

On the reaction to the recruiting tapes of Terrence Cody and Mark Ingram:
“We evaluate all the guys and there is no perfect player. Certainly we were out there looking for a nose guard type and there were a couple other guys that we recruited that might fit the bill. Some of them didn’t qualify and we hope will qualify in the future. But Terrence was a guy that certainly had the size and initial quickness. We knew what his problem was in terms of conditioning relative to his ability to sustain and that was our big issue. Stevon Moore, who is the defensive coordinator at Gulf Coast, played for us at the Cleveland Browns and was a very good player, very strong, tried to help us a little bit to get him in shape and not get to out of whack relative to his weight so that when he came here and reported we would get him to a point where he could play and sustain. He did a good job of that, Terrence did a good job of that, hence we got him down to 365. Still we would like to improve that part of his game and he is working hard on that and we are working hard with him to try and do it.

“Mark Ingram was a really good player in high school. You could see he had the ability to make cuts and accelerate out of a cut. Because of the way he is built, he ran with some power so he is a great combination guy and really a complete back. He has good track speed and has good hands. Either one of these guys were easy to see that if we got them in the right circumstance they could be productive players.”

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On the number of freshmen that have played:
“We are just playing the best players. If we think a guy is going to play and make a contribution to the team then we go ahead and play them. It is a great opportunity for a lot of freshmen on our team because we lack depth at certain positions and those guys are getting an opportunity to play. We have some other positions where some freshmen get an opportunity to play in the near future. Some other freshmen may be affected by how much they play relative to someone’s injury. This is not premeditated, if they practiced they are playing because they deserve to play because they are the better guys, they are the better back up, so we have to go ahead and make a choice to play them on special teams or at their position. I would like to get to the point where we redshirt most of our freshmen and only have a few guys that go out there each year to play because you have enough depth on your team that you don’t have to pay them. I think this year some of these guys are playing because they deserve to play based on the competition and because we were thin which created a great opportunity for them. ”

On how the freshmen handled a high point and a low point:
“They don’t know what to expect. They didn’t know what to expect in the first game. Obviously they made some mistakes and played with some high anxiety relative to it being their first college football game. I think some of those guys made a huge improvement and I think everybody is in a little bit of a different state of psychological flux in terms of where they are. Some guys are managing it well in terms of what their roles are and some guys are frustrated for a good reason – they want to play more. They have to manage their frustration so it doesn’t affect their performance.”

On where the defense stands at this point of the season (not giving up a touchdown):
“It is good to be hard to score on. We gave up some long drives this last game even though we got them stopped in the red area. There were a couple circumstances where they got the ball in good field position and we got out of it which is a real positive in terms of making an adaptation to sudden change in a game which shows leadership, confidence, maturity and playing tough in the red zone when things get thick is probably a good sign. Some of the errors and mistakes that we made to get them there are things that we definitely need to get corrected. I think we need to continue to improve on defense because we are certainly going to see some outstanding offensive players, some outstanding offensive teams and we haven’t gotten a lot of turnovers. There are a lot of things that we can improve on. There are a lot of things that contribute to winning that we need to improve on defensively.”

On Rolando McClain’s development:
“He played really well in the last game. His leadership is something that is a real positive for the defensive team. I think he affects the other players in terms of how he plays. He has played two really good football games. He had over 30 production points in this last game which is a lot of production in one game. He makes his few mistakes like most of the guys do and there are certainly things that he needs to continue to work on but that is the one thing he usually does. He is a conscientious guy. He likes to get it right and he wants to understand what his job is and he goes out there and tries to do it.”


Add Yours
  1. 1

    What is this damn deal with Tulane ? Are they the Foster Child ? Damn if the Foster Child did not act grateful. Tulane was properly feted all week at Samford and Mal told the Faithful in the “Letter” to show the love. They are not refugees !
    This kind of Shit would never be offered to any Big D -1 program out of Florida or the Gulf Coast. They would see it for what it was – patronizing . Please do not misunderstand – this love fest became a tad overdone.

  2. 4
    Ballplay Indian

    Yeeeeah…..O.K. T.C. has one good game and now hes an All – American….He hasnt shown me much yet dude…..He may be great. He may not. I dont see his fat arse whipping up on Pugh or Green or Ziemmba or Bosley. Lets see what he does in SEC play before building him up too much. McClain has proven what he can do. Cody has not.

  3. 5

    Hey Ballplay, if TC wasn’t doing his job, Rolando couldn’t shine as much. Everyone is having to double team TC, I suspect Auburn will have to as well…

  4. 6

    One thing is for sure…

    Saban will never take the blame for anything. It’s ALWAYS the players’ fault. “poor execution” , “didn’t finish plays” …… It’s OK to admit error as a coach, but apparently Saban feels that he has no flaws, only his players do.

    This is one reason I don’t care for the guy too much.

  5. 8

    Ballplay, I was at the Tulane game and if you watched like you said, you would have seen Tulane keeping two sometimes three players on him to allow Rolando to have one of his best games, but since you are in the know on what’s happenin on the farm, would you let me know if they are practicing on the chop blocks so I can let TC know to look out. . .

  6. 9
    Ballplay Indian

    Rolando was kickin tail last year. Cody wasnt even on the team last year. Im not saying Cody wont be all SEC. He may be before its over. But R.M. was doin really well last year as a true freshman. He is by far the best player IMO on your defense. If he played for Auburn , he could be the best player on our defense. The dude is good. Big and fast. Smart too.

  7. 11

    Uh. . . .Oh do I detect a nerve being hit? Dead horse or not, when Aub o-line could not handle Dorsey they resorted to illegal blocks that could have ended a 54 million dollar contract for the kid, my point is I think yall may have trouble with TC and I certainly hope yall don’t let that happen again.

  8. 12

    And talk about dead horse, do you realize how many times we had to read that
    Clemson 44
    Scum 6
    from one of you jackasses

  9. 13
    Ballplay Indian

    It wasnt me bamaman…..2 chop blocks in a year. Whhooooooooooooooo…….The one against Dorsey, yes it was blatant. The one against Clemson. not so much. T.C. is not a Dorsey. He couldnt hold Dorseys jock. Dorsey has meaner chunks of corn in his turds than T.C.

  10. 16

    Ballplay, you crazy little man, it is a big whhoooooooo when it can end a player’s career, I’m sure it is a big deal to who has the block done to them only because your line can’t take the pressure, get real man.

  11. 18
    Shane is a BLOGGER

    Lee Ziemba (BIG Z) will knock the fatal HE** out of baby flab cody. However baby flab will dominate whoever bammur plays in the WeedWhacker Bowl.

  12. 20
    Ballplay Indian

    Cody is going to win the heisman this year. And bamaman. the chop block is not cool. I am not for it. But I can guarantee you that if you reviewed all bamas game film from last year that you would see some choppin .

    And Goerge, good night dude. Would you let that lame old arguement that I am julio and whoshisface go. Pleeease .

  13. 21

    I like the way Ballplay Indian had to log in as Shane is a Blogger because he was getting his ass whippied in a debate.
    Cody will spend more time in the backfield during the Iron bowl than Tate.

  14. 22

    And while we are at it dont orget the other chop blocks. There was a really nasty one against Vanderbilt too.

    But alas where is the “Chopblocker of the Year”?
    Chopblock Chaz has disappeared….there is talk of a transfer. Whispers that he didnt like the Deron Furr episode so he got bum rushed in the shower. That even his partner in crime Lee Ziembe turned coat on him. After Chopblock Chaz took a bullet last year to help Tubbo get a cheap advantage over LSU, he has been cast aside. Another fine example of Tommy Tuberville’s allegiance to no one but himself.
    Look for someone to come forward with a “big confession” whether it is Chaz, Deron Furr, or Tony Franklin at the end of the season. (When they try to show HIM the door.)

  15. 23
    Shane is a BLOGGER

    tmc-0, BamaBoy, you are probably too young to remember this but in 1985 a bammur D-Lineman crawled on his hands and knees and grabbed Tony Robinson, the QB of TENNESSEE and broke his leg well after the ball was thrown. He was flagged for a personal foul. From now on I will refer to bammur as Leg Breaking U. Your daddie has it on VHS.

  16. 24

    I agree Shane is a blogger! I really remember that game well…. ah! I also remember when Jo Schmo gave a guy a concussion many years ago. Do you remember that? We’ll call Alabammer Concussion U from now on!

  17. 26

    Shane is a boogereater, last time I checked Ziemba would not be lineing up against our noseguard, but you are right they probably will have to shift him over to help, but I assure you he couldn’nt handle Mt. Cody by himself. Funny how the aubo’s make fun of our bowl games like the cotton bowl and their dumb ass ends up their the next year. Based on what I am seeing Au better hope to make it to the toilet bowl this year, and please don’t bring up a penalty from 1985
    tmc1 is right, you are Shane the boogereater

  18. 27
    Ballplay Indian

    Tmc1….you are stil a pecker, your not witty . Your not funny. And lastly , your not correct, as usual. All of that blabbering and you still make no sense. Whats next ? Are you gonna say that Ziemba was the shooter on the grassy knoll ? Get real man.

    Bamaman. Cody may be all that. But why would you build the dude up to Glen Dorsey and Tracy Rocker status, when the dude has never played a good O-line yet ? Why dont we wait and see how he fairs against. LSU, Auburn , Georgia, or Tennessee? Then if he is a world beater, let me have it then.

  19. 28
    Shane is a BLOGGER

    BamaMan, Cotton Bowl? I never said Cotton. I said the WeedWhacker “LSU fans come out and thank sabin” Bowl.
    Also I remember recently bammur had a fullback that was called Big Red. I seem to remember he had a Central Florida player in the middle of the field beating him with his fists. Not only was Big Red thrown out of the game but bammur lost. Go Big Red.

  20. 30
    Shane is a BLOGGER

    BallPlay, Tony Robinson lit us up that year. It was like 24-0 at the half. After the bammur coaches saw that they took care of Tony early in their game.

  21. 34

    Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what a wild house this would turn into once the season began. Or maybe I could have seen it comming, since I did my share of talk before the season began. I have toned it down out of respect for everyone, and I guess I’m the only one focused on the next game, instead of what happend 20 years ago, or 3 or 4 weeks down the road. If I knew it was going to be this kind of party, I would have stuck my penis in the mashed potatoes.

  22. 39

    Finebaumjunkie, that was in response to all that crap we had to read from Shane the booger eater about his Clemson prediction, I can respect your prediction but I predict LSU by two touchdowns, Todd has just not had anybody disrupt his questionable passing ability from a good team like he will from LSU, just my opinion

    LSU 28
    AU 14

  23. 40
    Coach Croom

    Ballplay shane,
    Yall got your big spoons ready for that plate full of humiliation dis’ week?
    Get ready for all the vitamin C you can eat!
    Who is yo Daddy? Big Sylvester thats who!

  24. 41
    Coach Tony Franklin

    Hey Big Syl!
    Looks like you need some offense there…Hit me up @ later, I am gettin’ sick of that egomaniacal jerk Tubberville, and his untalented team. Plus I opened up my last pay envelope and it was full of USDA Food Stamps.

  25. 42
    Coach Croom

    Get a bath, and comb that whack ass hair, And CONTACT ME at

    Nah…just kidding….you aint man enough to Coach at Mississippi State.

  26. 43
    Coach Tommy Tuberville

    Franklin are you job hunting again! What kind of low life spends all of his time on a schools payroll looking for other jobs!
    Dont answer that.

  27. 45

    tmc1, you and I are the same age, and I hate the last topic just dropped off, because I’m sure Ballplay didn’t get to see that stinger

  28. 46
    Ballplay Indian

    Yeah tmc1….. I am the liar …..O.K.

    You care to reveal your “source” on the shower incedent?

    Didnt think so………

    I see that your delusion doesnt just apply to Bama football.

  29. 48

    I wonder if Shane will consider getting us on T.V. now that he is famous. We all have helped with making this site the best on the net, and we are the one’s that have propelled Shane into superstardom. Not only do we keep the rest of the country entertained with our wit and knowledge, now we have SEC coaches coming here on a regular basis. All of us, combined with Shane, could make for award winning television. I’m going to go ahead and hire an accountant. Thank you Shane, for making my dreams come true.

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