By Hunter Ford

Nick Saban says the 2014 Florida Gators are an outstanding team. In 2013, Florida struggled to one of its worst records in recent history, going 4-8.

Saban, at his Wednesday afternoon press conference, said that was partly due to numerous injuries at key positions. The Gators are full strength for their showdown with Alabama, 2:30 CT, Saturday, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“They are way better, way better, than anyone here thinks,” Saban said. “It’s important our players play their very best.”

Saban said the Tide has had a good week of practice. Recently, hot weather has prompted Saban to practice the team indoors.  He said it was important for the players to know the game plan, and get the reps they need, but not at the risk of being “zapped out this close to the game.”

“We have to keep the main thing the main thing,” he said. “Focus on what you need to do right now…know the game plan, but take care of yourself.”

Saban said receiver Dee White has practiced all week and “done fine.” Safety Jarrick Williams, who has been recovering from injuries, has also done well.  Saban said he is “not sure what we will do with him” as far as playing this week.  William’s status will be determined by the medical staff.

Alabama free safety Nick Perry will be forced to sit out the first half of the Florida game after receiving a second half targeting foul in the Southern Miss game. Alabama moves several defensive backs in different positions depending on its coverage schemes.  Saban was asked about the status of defensive back Tony Brown.  According to Saban, Brown has been improving and “will play a lot in this game.”


Asked about the importance of safety Landon Collins, Saban said Collins was a “good player,” a “good person,” and is an important leader on the team.

“We don’t have anybody else at his position that has what he has and has produced what he has produced,” he said.


Asked if the Tide was working on some “new looks” for quarterback Blake Sims, Saban responded, “Yeah, we probably are.”

But Saban said the most important thing is to “execute” plays that have already proven successful. He said the Tide may practice some new plays it can use in the game, but it does no good to “put stuff in and not do it well.”

“When it is all said and done, it comes down to execution,” he said. “We need to continue to do things we do well, and know how to block and execute.”

Asked if he would still use two quarterbacks, Saban said he has confidence in Jake Coker. “If we need to play Jake, we certainly have no problems putting him in there and allowing him to play.”


Saban was asked if Cooper had “quiet confidence.”

“When you say ‘quiet’,’ it’s okay to say he’s ‘quiet,’ but I don’t think he’s a shy person,” Saban said. “He will tell you what he thinks.  He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t do a lot of trash talking.  He listens and is respectful of the coaches.  I have a lot of respect for players that go about their business like he does.  He’s a good person and a good competitor.”


At his Wednesday SEC Coaches teleconference, Saban was asked about his reaction to the off field issues of some NFL players.

“We probably have 15-20 speakers a year, and spend a tremendous amount of money on personal development in all areas, whether it’s domestic violence type issues, how to treat other people, how to be a man,” Saban said. “Drugs, alcohol, agents…all these things affect young people.  I think every opportunity we have where there’s an example of consequences for behavior that’s not what we’re trying to develop, we certainly use that as a teaching opportunity with our team.”


24 thoughts on “Saban says Florida is ‘way better, way better’ than last season”

  1. Quit yanking us Nick.

    Florida may be way better, but they still aren’t good. It took 3 OTs for UF to beat UK. sheesh.

    1. @Hoopie

      I assume you didn’t see the game.

      Florida made mistakes in execution that made the game close. While I’ve been incredibly impressed with Kentucky since week one, the better team took home the win, even though the better team didn’t play its best game.

      But now they come to Alabama.

      Beat Alabama, your coach gets a contract extension, your stadium gets rennovated, and your QB gets Heisman hype. Florida will be bringing its best game to Tuscaloosa.

      If they make fundamental mistakes like they did against Kentucky, Alabama wins handily. Make no mistake though, Florida has talent, and all the motivation in the world to beat Alabama. If Alabama makes the same king of fundamental errors they made in their losses last season or the way Florida did against Kentucky, the Gators are taking a win back to the Swamp.

      Personally, I think Alabama will control the ball and (perhaps eventually) the line of scrimmage, and those will be the outlying factors for beating the Gators in Tuscaloosa. So far, Alabama has won with fundamentals, and they’ve improved since week one. If they can keep that up, Florida might have a tough time finding the end zone, even if they’re able to move the ball down the field.

  2. Chances are Co Bill Synder will at least make Boogers sweat on Thursday FloridaAlabama will be no place for women and cildren

      1. K State is a very young team. They lost a lot of talent. I’m not sure they have what it takes to stop the magicians. If it were a football game, it might be a different story.

      1. Really? I think the better team lost, no offense.

        Not to get entirely off-topic here, but Kansas State lost implicitly because of fundamental mistakes in execution.

        Sound familiar?

        You can’t miss easy, untouched field goals, fumble without any defensive contact, or bounce 3-yard passes off your chest in the end zone and expect to win.

        Auburn didn’t exactly capitalize on most of Kansas State’s mistakes, but Kansas State made so many on their own it simply didn’t matter and the Tigers danced away with the W.

        I feel bad for Kansas State’s defense. They were stellar and essentially penalty-free. They played a virtually flawless game, and it simply wasn’t Auburn’s defense that caused the majority of KSU’s lost scoring opportunities and turnovers, but rather it was KSU itself when they had the ball on offense.

        Getting back on topic, this is almost the same as what happened to Florida last weekend against Kentucky. The Gators escaped with a win, but like I was saying before, I don’t expect most teams to make mistakes like that in consecutive conference games, and if Alabama makes those mistakes when they control the ball, Florida will be able to take advantage of that and could pull off the upset.

        I don’t think that’s going to happen. While all 3 games this season have taken time for the Crimson Tide to develop before the end result, the fundamentals have been what I think are the defining factors for the progress so far; good reads, wrapping up tackles (again, eventually), excellent WR blocking, elimination of unforced penalties, rotating depth, communication, ball and clock management, and, of course, special teams. Alabama doesn’t look “flashy” this year (again), but the core football has looked clinical and very solid. If the Crimson Tide can maintain that performance against Florida it will be a good victory for Alabama and another question mark for the Gators.

        1. Nope

          I agree with your assessment K-State They left at least 16 points on the field beat themselves

          Agree about Ala-Fla Neither team can afford mistakes. I believe Alabama will win with runnin game, but Tide defense will scare Tide fans to death by giving up some big plays we’ll see RTR

    1. our defense could learn from the k state tape. their defensive players were very disciplined for a half. eventually auburns talent won the day.

      1. For what it’s worth, Auburn consequently didn’t do a whole ton of hurry up and option stuff for Alabama to learn from KSU how to defend the hurry-up-no-huddle-no-substitution meerkat style of football.

        Sure, they ran to the ball for every first down, and the extent of Malzahn’s coaching accumen seeemed to be yelling “GO GO GO GO GO GO GO” and very little else in terms of communication (outside of the cute Jonah Hill and Kevin Hart placards), but about half the time they tried mostly fundamental football.

        It didn’t work out for them mostly, but fortunately for the Tigers, KSU couldn’t stop hurting themselves on offense without any contact by the Auburn defense, while KSU’s defense was all but mistake-free, and when they did make a mistake (like a defender falling to the ground in man coverage) Auburn got one of their two TD’s.

  3. told ya so…per saban in first half …sloppy play – bad rhythm no tempo….was because SIM WAS NOT MANAGING THE GAME WELL

  4. certainly like your web-site but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts.
    A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to inform the truth on the other hand I’ll definitely come back again.

  5. Florida sucks like your team. Nicky smurf was trying to make your redneck fanbase happy. Hope you lose 5 more games this year. It was fun watching Bo Wallace beat your team and shut ITK (in the Keyster) up. How can you explain this loss. You should have been called for a face mask, so take another 7 off the scoreboard.

    I revel in your losses. It makes me happy that this stupid message board has no propaganda to report tonite. Just STFU and realize you got another 4 losses coming. Blow tide losers.

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