‘Pissed off’ Saban: Don’t undervalue ‘Will not be denied’ attitude

By Hunter Ford

Nick Saban gets “pissed off” when he talks to people about the Arkansas game and they are disappointed Alabama only won by a single point.

“You want to talk about something that’s frustrating? That’s frustrating,” Saban said at his Monday press conference.

Saban began his meeting with the media saying he was proud of the way the Crimson Tide competed in a tough road game.

“I still think it was a great win for our team…a one-point victory with a ‘will not be denied’ attitude,” he said.

Saban said he expected a hard fought game with the Razorbacks and suggested some people “sometimes don’t respect other teams like they should.”

He conceded that the game was “ugly” at times, and that the Tide was hampered by poor execution and “bad choices” at times. His bottom line, however, was that the Tide overcame those problems and still won the game.

Saban said his team “made mistakes, but they played hard” and the mistakes can be overcome. He said mistakes can be corrected, but effort and competitiveness were keys to the win.  “If we do that (correct mistakes) in the long run we can be successful.”


Saban said there were no new injuries to report, although a few players, notably WR Amari Cooper could be “limited” in practice.


Saban said problems on the offensive line boil down to “fundamentals.”

“It wasn’t we weren’t blocking the right guys, more than we weren’t finishing blocks,” he said. “Same thing on pass protection, we need to be better, need to finish better.”

Saban said Amari Cooper was able to make big plays in the first few games of the season off of “easy, fast, quick throws.” In the past few games, defenses have been taking those plays away from Alabama.  He said Alabama has to “go back to the basics” running the ball more effectively and distributing the ball to other playmakers.  He said he has confidence in all his receivers, tight ends and backs.


Asked about practicing special teams, Saban said Alabama practices special teams the same way it always has, and noted that Alabama ranked first overall in special teams in the SEC last season. He said “judgment and decision making” have hurt the Tide on special teams.  Returner Christion Jones muffed a short punt early against Arkansas.  Communication and decision making are key in situations like that, according to Saban.  Later in the game, with a different returner, Alabama lost the ball to Arkansas when a punt bounced into an Alabama player.

“We have to play smarter, and that applies to a lot of people,” he said. It can be difficult to create those situations in practice, he added.

“When our punter kicks it, he doesn’t kick it 25 yards,” Saban said. “Maybe we have to practice some bad punts, get a guy in there who kicks it 25 yards.”  He said sometimes, players try too hard to get something out of nothing.  “It’s like swinging at a ball over your head when you’re playing baseball.”

“Some guys on our team are playing with too much anxiety,” he said.


The Aggies have been one of the most prolific passing and scoring offenses in the country for the past few seasons. Saban said Alabama would probably need to rely on a four-man rush and excellent coverage reads and disguises by the defensive secondary.  He also said the Alabama offense needs to control the ball to “keep (A&M) off the field.”

The Aggies tend to get passes off quick, Saban said, so the four pass rushers will need to get as much pressure as they can, while the linebackers and defensive backs will have to use “great eye control” to cover passes and sniff out run plays.


Linebackers Ryan Anderson and Trey DePriest, plus safety Landon Collins were defensive players of the week. Offensive backs T.J. Yeldon and Jalston Fowler represented the offense.  Punter JK Scott was joined by Reggie Ragland and Johnathan Allen as special teams players of the week.

Scott averaged 44.2 yards on eight punts with seven downed inside the 20 and six downed inside the 15. Allen blocked the first Arkansas PAT which turned out to be the difference in the game.


Saban said it is important for Alabama players to “help each other” overcome mistakes. He said he noticed his team rallying around quarterback Blake Sims after Sims made a poor play on a failed quarterback sneak attempt.

He said he was happy to see the Tide’s enthusiasm after Landon Collins’ interception that sealed the Arkansas victory.

“I haven’t seen that much emotion from this team in a long time,” he said.


Add Yours
  1. 1

    ““Some guys on our team are playing with too much anxiety,” he (Saban) said.

    enter Dr. Feelgood……………..


    “A search of a University of Alabama football player’s dorm room in Bryant Hall last week yielded more than 100 grams of marijuana and almost $5,000 in cash, court records filed Monday show.”

    “They confronted Freitag and read him his Miranda rights, according to the complaint, and he gave agents permission to search his Bryant Hall dorm room, where they found 112 grams of marijuana and $4,661 in cash.”

    the fumbles. the penalties. jumping in the air on a QB sneak.

    it’s all coming together now. (up in smoke)

    • 4

      OK, aside from Freitag being completely off-topic, he didn’t play this year (certainly wasn’t a starting QB) and it’s silly to even suggest any kind of a pattern whatsoever…unless he only misses half a game.

      Alabama’s defense looked great against Arkansas. I’m not sure why that’s being overlooked in so many places but then again that’s defense for you—–people will never understand or care about defense like they do with offense.

      Speaking of offense, take a look at the tape again. The Alabama o-line got stood up and pushed back in a way that I can only say is completely uncharacteristic of what we’ve seen the last 6 years. It’s a wonder Sims wasn’t sacked more or didn’t make more mistakes under that kind of pressure. Losing Kelley hurts more than just for the snap and communication (the center was getting pushed back almost immediately on most plays) but it’s certainly not the only position on the line that struggled. As a result, less runs went up the middle, and most of them were stopped at the edge.

      Arkansas pulled out all the stops before and during the game. While that’s certainly not uncommon for Alabama’s opponents, I think Saban is absolutely right suggesting that people take opponents for granted, particularly because nobody seems to take Alabama for granted, or rather nobody seems to take Alabama for anything other than a season-defining win no matter what shape the Crimson Tide are in.

      Alabama’s defense is as prepared as it can be for TAMU, minus several injuries. But it’s the offense that will need to improve to have success against even the marginally effective defense of TAMU.

  2. 5

    Off topic? How can the arrest of a drug dealing scholarship football player at the Capstone be off topic for the Capstone Report? He was arrested at the Bryant Hall football dorm with a quarter pound of weed. That should be on topic for the Capstone Report. Of course he hasn’t been playing, he has been running a drug dealing business from the football dorm. He didn’t have time for football.

    • 6

      Off-topic for the story at hand. Not just off-topic, but completely off-topic. In fact, you said nothing related to the story whatsoever. Good grief, man.

      Besides, in the first comment alone everything that could possibly be said was already listed, noted and linked to. Until he gets either picked up by Auburn or suspended for half a game there’s nothing more to add and plenty more to say that’s on-topic in any way whatsoever, let alone inferring that a drug dealer on Alabama’s football team is a pattern.

      Of course, there are more details, but I won’t mention them since you won’t like them as they don’t include guilt and, again, it’s simply off-topic. Strange how poorly Alabama played against Arkansas but that you have nothing to say about. Confusing, at least.

    • 7

      They’re just about to write an article about this story.

      Right? You guys are going to write about this, right?

      You’d already have 6 posted by now if it was an Auburn player.

      • 8

        Kinda already did. See above. First comment. Not really much else to say except that last I heard he hadn’t been charged with anything, but of course if we write that I’d expect you to suggest we’re proclaiming his innocence.

        You’re obsessed. This is a player who didn’t play a single down this year—-it’s a little different from the one article about Marshall, the starting QB for a top-ranked team, particularly when everyone else was writing about it but you accuse us of a witch hunt. You are obsessed, peachy.

        Thanks for staying off-topic though and continuing to deflect like you do, but again, after such a difficult performance Saturday, I’m not sure I understand why you have nothing to say about Alabama except for a player who had nothing to do with the game and all the known information is already listed above. Silly.

          • 10

            Not much of a Capstone Report when they won’t do an article about a scholarship football player at the Capstone arrested for dealing drugs at the football dorm. Yet they post an article and comment mightily when a troubled kid says that he would like to go to Auburn if Auburn would offer him.

          • 11

            I’m working on an exhaustive essay about the player right now. It will be a scathing exposê and Alabama will be buried for good.

            So you’re not going to say anything on topic, only chastise the entire university for a player’s alleged crime you can’t even remember the name of because, wait for it, he hasn’t played a single down all year?

            Typical peachy. Obsessed. Good freaking grief.

            By the way, I don’t control or represent Capstone Report (or the University of Alabama, for that matter, since you seem to keep suggesting it), so getting plssed with me for not having a detailed article posted about a guy nobody knows who didn’t contribute a single yard to the team you care more about hating than the one you say you love and his allegations well, gosh, I just don’t know how much more you can deflect but it never ceases to surprise me. My guess is you didn’t see the Arkansas game and you didn’t read the story anywhere else about the player, but I’m more surprised you’re not furious he wasn’t charged with anything yet and that you haven’t condemned the entire university for it as a clear pattern.

            Peachy, never ever stop. I could never make you up.

          • 12


            I’m still confused—-what more do you want to hear?

            It’s different when it’s a pattern of recruiting players kicked out of their first-choice school. Surely you can see the difference?

            Oh, wait, maybe not.

            And I’m sure at this point is only sounds like deflection, but again, nothing to say about Alabama’s poor performance, the one in the topic at hand? I mean, I get that you hate Alabama and want to say bad things about them, I really do get it, but wouldn’t it be just plain easier to say something about the team that struggled and made tons of terrible mistakes and got beat in the trenches on offense than to raise furious anger over a player who you never heard of because he never played this year? I mean, the crime alone is incidental—-if he stole a piece of Double Bubble you’d be just as furious, but think about it for just a second; you really and truly can’t first see the difference and second see that as worse than the game itself? I mean, are you suggesting Alabama has a habit of giving full scholarships to drug dealers, is that it? I don’t get it. Do you want his middle name and favorite color? How much more info are you obsessed with for this kid instead of a struggling Alabama team? I mean, do you understand how hard it is not to see that as a cult reaction in the midst of a struggling offense, mistake-prone special teams unit and a running game being stopped like never before under the current head coach? Good grief man.

          • 13

            Haven’t y’all heard? Y’all are supposed to be happy about that win, move on.

            Now, who was Freitag’s roommate? Who was he selling to?

          • 14

            You stupid bastards actually think we give a fuk what you think? You actually think it embarrasses or bothers us that a Georgia Cracker wants to burn some Mary Jane? Fuk off you retarded Bamssessed assholes. After the end of November we’ll never hear from any of you again.

  3. 15
    Hunter Ford

    Saban has a SEC teleconference call in the AM tomorrow and an evening press conference after practice. It will certainly be reported if he addresses the issue….

    And about the Arkansas game….

    Sometimes a nail-biting, seat-of-your pants win can catapult a team to a great season… Auburn had two to end last season

    Alabama had the Tennessee blocked field goals in 2009

    We’ll see how this season plays out, but it is much better to be 5-1 than 4-2 and 2-2 in the SEC RTR

    • 16

      I heard the linemen taking personal responsibility for bad blocks and protection, notably quotes from Austin Shepherd after watching the tape. That’s good to hear, and more characteristically Alabama than a benched 3-star TE selling weed, so we’ll see Saturday how much they take that to heart—-they mentioned specifically the assignments weren’t off but that instead the performance was simply poor. Frankly, it’s now or never.

      Also, Landon Collins was all over the place but went mostly unnoticed outside of the final defensive play. Alabama got lucky on a few assignments (how a linebacker was 35 yards down the field to stop a go-ahead TD is beyond me) but Landon alone nearly had two or three picks and I would be thrilled to see him have a stellar day against a pass-happy team this Saturday.
      The gauntlet has begun.

  4. 20

    What im still trying to figure out is why whitehead is still suspended 4 games later for a verbal altercation with a coach? Weed is illegal… Arguing with a coach is not! Weed charge = 1/2 game suspension… Cussing an assistant = indefinite suspension!!! Good call there gussy poo! You sir are a man of moral fiber! Hey whitehead smoke em if you got em! Youre better off!!

    • 25


      You are truly a Sunday morning Alabama fan.

      Take a look at the stats since Kelley was injured and since Sims was hurt against Florida. There are a lot of them. I’d love to hear what you find. I’m afraid if I told you what I found you’d suggest I was being biased, but I’m not going to lie, I like Sims and he’s a good QB, albeit probably not a title-winner even if he’s championship-calibur. I’d love to hear your explanation though rather than the “I told you so” stuff.

      • 26

        Coker is a joke Sims is better anyone with an IQ above 50 knows that! That tells you that ^^randall^^ up there is one of those that eats crayons and rubs shit in his hair! If anyone thinks for a second that if saban saw coker as the better option hed be the starter! as i hear it cooper bateman gets just as many reps as coker sooooooo!

        • 27


          Slow down.

          Coker is no joke, he just hasn’t been developed like Sims (or McElroy or McCarron) has. Don’t be surprised if Coker is still the man to beat next season (or if he’s fortunate enough to get some garbage time this season), not to discount Bateman or Cornwall or Barnett, et.al.

          Sims, meanwhile, has had a trial by fire in his first and final year as the starting QB. We’ll probably never see his ceiling, for what it’s worth.

          But if you look at the Arkansas game from an Arkansas perspective after a bye-week following a close overtime loss and bringing in more millionaires (and a few billionaires) on a football field than we’ll ever see again, all with a great lineup trying to get their coach his first win in the SEC (and following the emotion of playing in former-Hog “Jerry’s” Dallas stadium) and, well, just watch again. Or don’t, and wait and see. Because Alabama might not be done losing football games this season, but that doesn’t mean Sims is a bad QB or Alabama is a bad team.

  5. 28

    Coker is a career back up! Barring an injury to sims this year or cornwell bateman and barnett next year he will never be the starter at alabama! He wasnt recruited by Saban as a 3 star he couldnt beat out manuel but yet we are to believe he pushed winston to the last week of fall camp a year ago? Please!! Theres only two teams in the SEC he would maybe start for! USC and Vandy!! Also are u trying to tell me that sims picked up more in spring practice than coker? Really? He cant hit a fat bitch in the ass with a fist full of skittles at point blank range! Oh and btw im white!

    • 29

      You are not paying attention.

      But don’t take my word for it. If Coker really wasn’t that good, he’d have already transfered. Truth is, Coker would start at many places with simpler schemes.

      But again, all I said was don’t be surprised if Coker is the leading man in competition next season. And for this season, don’t forget Coker is Alabama’s first-choice backup QB. Deal with it or write Nick Saban a strongly-worded letter detailing what he’s so wrong about.

      • 30

        Coker can’t just transfer. He would have to get waivers since he has already transferred once, ask Daisha Simmons. Coker is stuck. The Capstone doesn’t like to give those out and only does so once the national press has shine the light on how petty and shameful the Capstone is. I’m sure there is a Capstone Report on all of that.

    • 34

      Yeah, but he’s mostly in there for mop-up duty and that one series that Sims was out with his shoulder. He did fine during that series, but the game was well in hand at that point. My problem with him is that, every time he drops back to throw the ball, he’s just as likely to a) hit the pass perfectly, b) throw it in the turf, c) throw an interception, or, d) get sacked because he can’t make his reads quickly enough. He’s got talent coming out his ears – I’m just not convinced he has the playbook or his reads down as well as Sims. And neither QB can play when they’re running for their lives because the O-line isn’t stopping the rush. Bama’s championship years featured a veteran O-line, giving McElroy and McCarron time to make their reads, go through their options, and make good throws. When the O-line is not doing their job, no QB looks good (see Manziel, Johnny – 2013 season, or any of his pre-season NFL games). When the big boys up front are kicking ass and taking names, Bama dominates the offensive side of the ball. When they – like Austin Shepherd has admitted – don’t finish plays or don’t give their all, then the entire offense struggles. I’m hoping that Arky was a good wake-up call to those guys to make every down their best. They do that, no team can beat them.

Comments are closed.