Nick Saban Focused On Situational Football
Alabama head coach Nick Saban met with the media in the Naylor Stone Media Room today following practice via Zoom. Saban said the team's focused on building confidence and maintaining focus.
"I think some of the things that the players, the older players are trying to get some of the younger guys to understand is, they're saying 'match me, match my intensity, match my focus, match my energy.' I think that's a challenge to everybody," said Saban.
The Crimson Tide is currently focusing on situational football and instead of running a true scrimmage this past weekend, Alabama ran a simulated game in the stadium in order for players to get used to substitutions and communication without the coaches.
"Today we had two minute before the half, you know two minute before the half was a bad thing. LSU scored 14 points in the last two minutes of the half and Auburn scored 10. Those are the kind of things that the players have to really understand, not only are we trying to score in that situation but we can't give the other team the ball back so they get a chance to score," said Saban.
The head coach talked about what the team has done off the field in preparing the team to vote in the upcoming election. The team is using the Alabama Athletics Civic Engagement to create awareness on the importance it is to vote. The team is educating one another on absentee balloting and how important it is to take the lead in the community.
"I know it's kind of out there, I can tell you we're not endorsing any candidates, I've never endorsed any candidate, nor will I ever endorse a candidate or get involved in politics in any way shape or form. I don't think that's my place but I do think it is very very important that every American has a voice and uses their opportunity to vote so their voice is heard," said Saban.
Saban highlighted that the team is making sure everyone gets reps in practice whether they are the first team or the fourth team. He said the coaching staff is split up evenly so that everyone is practicing at all time. He also said that in certain cases players are practicing multiple positions in order to attempt to prepare for the possibility of players missing time due to COVID-19. Saban would not name specifics but he said there are certain players who are preparing to play on opposite sides of the ball.
The longtime Crimson Tide coach talked about the impacts of freshman Malachi Moore and Brian Branch. He mentioned that both guys show versatility and the ability to play both the "star" and the "money" position so far. Due to losing four players in the secondary last year there is an opportunity for the freshman to step in and contribute in those roles. Saban complimented the maturity of Branch and Moore and mentioned that they will need to keep up the same quality of play in order to earn playing time in the season.
Saban complimented all three quarterbacks as far as the progress they've made throughout camp. He complimented Mac Jones and said he's made significant strides from the first scrimmage to the end of last week. He complimented Bryce Young's arm but commented that he needed more experience in order to find more consistency. He complimented the amount of improvement he's seen out of Paul Tyson as well.