Alabama Football Update
Saban hopes fans will help provide positive energy
By Hunter Ford
Fans can help the Alabama Crimson Tide against Ole Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium in two ways, according to Nick Saban.
He said Alabama fans could provide “positive energy” for the Alabama players, and also create some noise to help slow down a fast-paced Rebel offense hoping to keep the Tide defenders out-of-place.“It helps the fans when the players do well,” the Alabama coach said. “But when the fans are excited and cheer well, it creates a lot of enthusiasm for everybody to feed off.” Saban said positive energy was needed by “everybody in the organization.”
The Alabama Crimson Tide coach said the 2013 team has to create its own identity and get “excited about its own challenges.” He said some players may be frustrated over a lack of playing time, or other things, but said those players can’t affect the ones who are doing things right.
Saban said several veteran Alabama players have been providing guidance to younger players, including C.J. Mosley, normally a quiet person on the roster.
“That’s what leadership is,” Saban said. “Reinforcing the principles and values of the organization. Every good team has that.” The coach elaborated that, some players seem to be motivated to do the right things all the time, and some need a little push from their peers.
“Some people need to be led,” he said. “Sheep need a dog to get them home to the barn at night.”
“Look man, it’s real simple,” Saban said, mimicking what an older player might say to a younger one. “I feel what you feel. I’ve felt like that before, and this is what I found out about it.’ You have to lead through those times.”
Saban said the Ole Miss receivers will challenge the Tide corners in the running game. The Rebels receivers are big and physical and will try to use that advantage on sweeps and perimeter runs.
The Alabama corners will have to “defeat blocks,” Saban said. Not only high ones, “but sometimes getting cut.”
The Rebels will try to use a hurry-up offense to keep the Tide off-balance on defense.
“The key thing for the defense is to have a sense of urgency,” Saban said. “It’s really, really hard to simulate in practice at the pace they go.
“They (Tide defenders) have to understand how fast they have to play and how fast they have to get lined up. It’s critical in this game.”
Alabama Injury Update
Saban said Wednesday afternoon, for the first time officially, that safety Nick Perry “will probably require surgery on his shoulder and is out for the year.”