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.

Trey DePriest

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.”

Adam Griffith

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.”


24 thoughts on “Saban: Develop routine to sustain through season”

  1. Routine? Sounds like “process” to me, doesn’t it? Maturity, scheduling, habits, focus.

    I love it. Coach ’em up, Coach.

    Sims never showed a deep ball threat against West Virginia. The threat at least needs to be there to compete with the elite. Personally, while Sims wasn’t scoring 70 points through the air, I really liked him—-he looked poised, prepared, fearless in and out of the pocket, and he definitely showed a lot more mental toughness than I think is fair to expect from a national debut. And dammit, he sure looked happy after the game in that leather helmet.

    Cooper showed Saturday how hurt he was last year. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to worry about that in 2014, particularly after DeAndrew White’s injury (White was spectacular, too).

    But my eyes will be on DePriest this Saturday. I’m not sure how much of a difference he’ll make against their opponent, but I think it will at least be noticable.

    And I know Coker is expected to play and I’m excited about that (if nothing else it’s good to have a backup QB ready to go), but the guy I’m still looking forward to seeing the most is Tony Brown. I couldn’t tell if Sylve was mis-matched Saturday, if his nerves got to him, or if he isn’t the ball predator we need in the secondary, and I don’t think he should be replaced yet at all, but I can’t pretend I don’t want to see Tony Brown. He’s the future, but it’s hard to wait after seeing what he did in the spring.

  2. did not like – sims typical run qb-no confidence in passing and can’t wait to run and not get jack..nobody open? bullshat a great pass qb throws them open – anticipates…

    1. Sims had great confidence passing, I just don’t think he had many opportunities to pass deep nor was he asked to, not to mention WVU had the deep ball covered very well most of the night, hence the pounding by Yeldon and Henry.

      Typical run-QB though, really? I mean, he only ran a few times, and all but I think one of those times were for worthwhile gains and first downs.

      Look. Just watch. Maybe he’s not a great QB? Maybe Coker and Bateman aren’t, either? But we’ll know more only after the next two football games.

      And never forget that Alabama spreads talent and play-making across the roster. Saban simply doesn’t put the entire load on the QB and WR’s. The o-line, the RB’s, TE’s, I mean, McElroy was, well, dammit I’m done with this. I could say give them all a chance, but none of us have a choice regardless. They’ll have to show us themselves for anyone to change their mind and even then I’m not sure it will, hence the “game manager” moniker for the last two title-winning QB’s at Alabama. Your glass can be half empty, or Roll Tide. Personally, I’m confident Nick Saban knows better than any of us at this point.

  3. I still think both QBs could play at times throughout the season. Sims did fine. He scared me to death rolling back through the end zone once from about ten yards away, but he spun off the defender and the defender looked stunned as if Sims had vanished in thin air…his mobility could be an asset, or it could cause some negative plays, or meaningless two-yard gains.

    My biggest concern is him staring down receivers. WV got one pick, but do that against say…LSU and it will be a lot worse. Still it was first game and we have other options at QB… we will see.

  4. au had fsu’s signals in first half…13 secs my buttocks….fsu biotch slapped in 2nd half …barn not in fsu’s bama league…as charles barkley would say

    1. IC

      That is one of the most creative handles I have seen in a long time. Nice I think Co Bill Synder is gonna have a Kleenex (copy right, all rights reserved) for the Booger Eaters….. ROLLLLLLL TIDE! ROLL!

      Thanks for the feedback!

        1. Another winner for the most off-topic, obvious, meaningless little brother comment of the week.

          I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed with your contributions since the season started.

          1. That’s all I would ever expect from you, peachy.

            The comment and your response were both off-topic, yes, exactly right. Fine. Congrats. Hunter, meanwhile, is virtually never disappointing in the slightest.

          2. Really about lightning being 8 miles away ?? What ever happened to ICE BOWLS and playing in rain and mud???

  5. Conduit:

    Do you think there is an over-reaction on these games where lighting may be 8 miles away? When has anybody been hurt by lightning and a major football stadium? I think Co Saban was mad he didn’t get to finish the game. He had plan, as he always does, and I feel he was mad he couldn’t get his last 7 minutes in….. I’m sure Fla Atlantic was glad to take the paycheck and go home

    1. @Hunter

      Yes and no.

      We saw it last week in Florida. Rain is one thing—-it doesn’t hurt anyone, including fans, and least of all any football player ever. Same with mud, ice, snow, high winds and foul language (they did play in the heavy rain Saturday for several minutes of game clock).

      But lightning can kill.

      I don’t know that it’s ever actually happened (maybe it has for the sake of the rule), but nobody wants to be the first. Most people sit on metal at BDS.

      However, there’s also a caveat for weather in Tuscaloosa. We’ve seen what it can do. Rain and lightning are one thing, but that storm rolled in very quickly. I’m not sure what it looked like on TV, but it was perfectly nice one minute, cloudy the next, then it was like someone opened a faucet. The lightning we saw, well, let’s just say I don’t think anyone who saw it was complaining about taking shelter away from their metal seats.

      I rode out a tornado once underneath Bryant-Denny, just days before the big one, and while there’s no place I’d rather be than surrounded by 100,000 tons of concrete and steel during a tornado, it’s easier to see the danger sitting on those metal benches if lightning were to strike any one of them. Can you imagine? It’s hard to see a lightning strike at BDS affecting only a single fan. It’s just not worth it.

      And don’t forget, the game was called cordially between both teams, and while I understand bettors wanted their 1/2 point to cover the spread of 41.5, I don’t give a damn about that and I’m sure Bill Battle and Nick Saban don’t either. One of the inherent and uncompromising risks of gambling on sports is weather, but it shouldn’t be a much more extreme or even deadly risk to the fans.

      1. Thoughtful response, and I can’t find anything to disagree with. Are fans allowed umbrellas in the stadium thee days? Used to see them, but I believe they are banned now.

        I was at an outdoor concert once and folks were lined up against a chain link fence when lightning hit close by…nobody was hurt but I remember thinking they would all have been fried if the strike hit the fence…

        Is anybody old enough to remember the 1983 Iron Bowl at Legion Field?

        1. I’m old enough but I don’t remember the 1983 Iron Bowl.

          I was at an outdoors Nine Inch Nails concert years ago during a huge storm in Charlotte, NC. I was under the pavillion roof near the front so all we knew was it was raining and rain was coming down from the lawn and past our seats.

          Next thing I know, they had to stop the show for lightning. I turned around and saw the greatest lightning storm I’ve ever seen, several strikes per second, purple skies, it was surreal.

          What was even more surreal was when the band started playing again and we could still see the lightning. It was like a natural light show, perfect for the band (hard industrial rock).

          Bottom line, this wasn’t a conference or rivalry game against a ranked opponent. I’m pretty sure even 49-0 wouldn’t be enough to stop the Iron Bowl with x minutes left on the clock. Florida barely got a kickoff in. That’s a lot harder to stomach, even against Idaho. Safety is too important, and the final 7 minutes, while we’d all love to see them (personally I just wanted to sing Rammer Jammer again), it probably just wasn’t worth it.

          1. Just to clarify, I don’t think it was called simply because of the opponent. I know how stuff often gets misinterpreted here, but don’t take it from me, take it from Saban.

            Saban and the other players obviously wanted more playing time. Alabama was bringing out their 3rd stringers…but they looked fantastic and could definitely have benefitted from more in-game experience. Nobody wanted to bail on the final 7 minutes just because of the score or opponent.

            But the wait would have been long enough to make calling the game the right call. The coaches, for the record, don’t make the call, but rather the AD’s.

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