By Hunter Ford
In his afternoon press conference, Nick Saban said the focus this week has been to “develop routine” as the Tide prepares for the home opener against Florida Atlantic.
“The focus on our team is really on improvements,” Saban said. “You have to practice well… have the mental energy to develop the habits that make you successful.”
Saban said he wants his team to focus on detail and develop habits, whether it’s hydrating well, eating well, sleeping well, or other thing things that “they can use to sustain through the season.”
“Establishing a routine takes a lot of maturity,” Saban said. Saban said he wants his players to “take that to the game and feel comfortable and confident taking that to the game.”
There were no new injuries to report. Saban said he and the players are excited about the home opener and are hoping to have a good crowd for the game, which will kick off at 11:00 a.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.
Rolando McClain made team in Dallas
Former Tide linebacker Rolando McClain has made the cut for the Dallas Cowboys this season. Saban was asked about his feelings on the subject.
“Rolando McClain is one of my favorite people, one of my favorite players in the whole world,” Saban said. Saban said McClain came into the program during Saban’s first season at Alabama in 2007. Saban said the team “was not very good” that first season, but McClain became an “alpha dog” leader and helped set the tone for successful seasons in 2008 and 2009.
Saban said he is happy for McClain to be playing pro football again “if that’s what he wants to do.” McClain has suffered through off the field problems and briefly quit football.
Linebacker Trey DePriest will return this week and Saban said his presence will help with defensive communication.
“Trey, because of his knowledge and experience, allows the other players to be more confident in calls and communication,” he said. “I certainly want Trey to keep setting an example to lead other players.”
Placekicker Adam Griffith was perfect on four field goal attempts in the West Virginia victory. Saban said Griffith keeps an even keel.
“I have always liked Grif,” Saban said. “He’s never been one of those guys who gets affected by much at all.”
Saban said specialists sometimes have a harder time overcoming a mistake on the field because they aren’t on the field long. “Sometimes its 20 minutes before you get to make another punt or kick,” he said. He praised Griffith for keeping his focus and staying consistent.
Fast paced offense was way to settle Sims down
Going to a fast paced no huddle offense at times during the West Virginia game was not necessarily the preferred strategy, according to Saban.
Saban said it was “easier to communicate when you go no hudde …you have code words to make it easier (than calling plays in the huddle)… we weren’t trying to go fast…we were trying to help Blake manage the game better… it was effective for him and for us.”