By Hunter Ford

In his Wednesday press conference, Nick Saban said some Tide players are practicing in “beast mode” while others…not so much.

“Focus stamina” is the key phrase for the week, Saban said. “You have to do it every day.” He said the Tide is still looking to establish “identity” as it heads into its third game of the season, 5 p.m., Saturday, at Bryant-Denny Stadium against 1-1 Southern Miss.

Saban said his team’s “effort and toughness” were “pretty good” in last week’s 41-0 victory over Florida Atlantic.  He is looking for more improvement in “execution.”

“We still had enough bad plays to stop ourselves inside the five-yard line,” Saban said.  He said the Tide can’t afford to come up short in the red zone against future competition “or this week.”

At the right guard position, Saban said Leon Brown played better against Florida Atlantic than he did against West Virginia.  Guard Alphonse Taylor still needs to develop consistency.

Saban said several young receivers also need to work on fundamentals and consistency.  Receiver Robert Foster went out of position on a pass play that should have been a touchdown, according to Saban.

Linebacker Rashaan Evans had a sack against Florida Atlantic, but was greeted with some coaching tips on the sidelines afterwards.  Saban said Evans failed to “wrap up” and said the entire defensive unit needs to improve on tackling fundamentals.

Offensive tackle Dominick Jackson needs to work on his footwork, according to Saban.

“Dominick’s a tough, physical, emotional guy,” Saban said.  “But he didn’t always do the little things.”  Saban said poor footwork caused Jackson to “whiff” a couple of blocks.

Wednesday morning, in his weekly SEC teleconference,  Saban said he wants to get tight end O.J. Howard more involved in the offense.  Howard has yet to catch a pass in two games.  The lone pass thrown his way so far, against West Virginia, was intercepted.  Howard was voted a first team, all-SEC player by both coaches and the media prior to the season.

“O.J. Howard is a guy that we need to get more involved in what we’re doing,” Saban said.  “I think he has some capabilities to make plays that we need to take advantage of.  He has been open a few times and we just haven’t gotten him the ball.”  Saban also added, “he needs to continue his development as a complete player.”

Howard has added a little weight since last season and continues to work on his blocking.

Saban said there were no new injuries to report.  Receiver DeAndrew White is running, according to Saban, but not ready to return.  A decision will be made on White’s status next week.

6 thoughts on “Saban wants players in ‘beast mode’”

  1. “O.J. Howard is a guy that we need to get more involved in what we’re doing,” Saban said. “I think he has some capabilities to make plays that we need to take advantage of.”

    well, DUH.

      1. Hunter is right.

        Saban doesn’t typically let out all the details, but truth be told, he gives more specific details regarding his own coaching with players and personell than I think most people would like to believe.

        Eddie Jackson needs to wrap up.

        White is recovering but not ready.

        OJ Howard is a playmaker.

        Receivers need to catch more balls.

        Exectution is critical.

        “Duh” might be an understatement, but at least it’s clear as crystal Nick Saban is coaching the same fundamental principles he needs to.

        I’ve said it before, but I’m a complete sucker for fundamental football and coaches as teachers. It might seem obvious when any coach says a player needs to tackle a ball carrier rather than just him him really hard, only I’d rather hear about that than non-issue drama. You can’t coach fundamentals enough, ever, and I’m a little bit geeky when I hear Saban calling out players on fundamentals-based mistakes. I can only imagine how much harder that makes it to forget for the player.

        1. Correct, @nope. And we never need to forget that CNS is not talking to the media when he makes these statements – it’s all directed at the players. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be called out in a press conference for anything other than how well I’m playing. It’s like the paper publishing the pictures of guys going into a whorehouse – suddenly, you have so much more attention focused on you. I also think the comment about OJ Howard was not directed at the QBs, but at Howard – “He has been open a few times, and we need to get him the ball”. Maybe it’s a call to Howard to improve his routes, or maybe even that, when he gets his blocking down better, he may get a few passes thrown his way. CNS – always coaching, always teaching.

  2. Howards blocking is the issue hence why youre seeing vogler more becuase he blocks better! Once Howards blocking comes along he will be featured more.

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