Saban Highlights Jalen Milroe’s Strengths on “Hey Coach”
Eli Gold and media guest Jenny Dell talked with Nick Saban on "Hey Coach" Thursday night.
Here’s what Saban had to say on several topics:
On SEC game coverage moving from CBS to ABC
Saban noted that CBS and their anchors and sideline reporters had been great. "It's always sad when you have great partners and for whatever reasons those aren't gonna be the same in the future."
On the Tennessee game being personal...is it just revenge?
"I don't think it's personal just from a revenge standpoint," said Saban. "The players know what this game means to a lot of people. This is a big rivalry game."
"There are stadiums named after people who established this rivalry," Saban said, referencing Coach Bryant, "It's persevered through the years because of the great-quality programs that both schools have had."
"This means a lot to a lot of people....I don't think there's any doubt that when you lose a game the year before to whoever you play...that disappointment stays with you."
On the offensive line and pre-snap errors
Regular caller PeeWee asked Coach about the offensive line. Saban responded jokingly asking PeeWee what he should do.
"We've been very inconsistent at times with pass protection," said Saban. "Some of it has been created by the left side of the line...but I also think that we've made some mistakes sometimes in pressure, in terms of how we block pressures. I think that comes from communication, which can come from good preparation and confidence."
Saban mentioned his left tackle, Kadyn Proctor, who is getting better, but still a freshman and learning the game. "I know the expectation is that we can replace anybody, anytime, and they're gonna step in and play like a first-round draft pick, but that's not necessarily the case. We have to have time to develop players."
On the Arkansas game third quarter
"We lost our collective focus," said Saban. "Everybody got relief syndrome cuz we were ahead in the game. We get a penalty, they get a first down, they go down and score. The momentum of the game changes. Once you lose that, it's hard to get it back."
"The lesson to be learned for our team," said Saban, "is we gotta play for 60 minutes. You gotta have the poise and the confidence to keep playing the next play. You can't get frustrated when something goes bad."
On characteristics of Jalen Milroe he wants fans to know about
"Everybody needs to know that Jalen is a really hard worker," said Coach Saban. "He's got a lot of pride in performance...he's a perfectionist in terms of the way he approaches playing the game." Saban also noted that Jalen is a hard worker who is well-liked by his teammates.
"I think his poise and confidence have increased with every game that he's played," said Saban. "I think that comes with experience.
"If you're gonna have any wisdom about what you do, you have to develop knowledge." Saban emphasized. "There's a lot of bumps in the road when your'e developing knowledge. You have to learn how to use those bumps in the road."
Saban noted that someone who's a perfectionist like Jalen Milroe can't get down on themself. "You have to be able to stay focused on using those experiences to help you play better the next play....He's learned how to do that a lot better."
On his greatest reward as head coach
"My greatest reward is the relationships that I have with the players," said Saban. "I think all the players that we've had here, and how much you appreciate all they did to make the program as successful as it's been."
"My thing that I love most about coaching is the relationships you have with the players, and helping them being more successful in life," Saban said. "Sometimes we compete and we're all competitive, but sometimes things are just about people."
On veterans and appreciation for people in our lives
Saban mentioned that ESPN asked him for some thoughts about veterans. "To have gratitude for what all those people have done, so we can have the quality of life that we have--you can't even put it into words," he said. "So many people can impact and influence other people by the sacrifices they make...to show that appreciation sometimes is really necessary."
On what the bye week will look like for him and his players
For the players, Saban said the most important thing is for them to have some time to recover. "They don't need another game plan, they don't need another week's practice. They need some rest time to recover."
Before that though, they'll spend each day of practice from Monday to Thursday focusing on the remaining four opponents.
Saban said he and Terry will go to the lake on Thursday night and they'll spend a day and a half there. "Most of the time I'll watch film," said Saban, "but it's still a different atmosphere, a different environment--you're away from it."
"It's an opportunity to get a little downtime," said Saban, "but we work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday pretty good trying to get ready for the rest of the season. Then we come back on Sunday and go to work on LSU, and try to finish the season in the right way."
Nick Saban Thursday
During the broadcast, Saban was presented with a birthday cake:
Saban said the best gift he's ever received is the relationship he has with a group of couples that he and Terry are friends with.
On who Saban would want a private concert from
Saban said one of his greatest concert memories was four years ago to see The Rolling Stones. "It was completely dark, and we were walking down the steps to our seats," recounted Saban. Then when "Start Me Up" started playing... "That was the best I've ever seen. The lights came on, and it was starting. I was ready to play."
On philosophy: does Coach love to win, or hate to lose?
"Probably hate to lose," said Saban. "Fear of failure, has always been a great motivator...even as a kid I hated to lose."
But Saban said that as a coach it's more important to win the game, instead of just beating the other team. "I think it's more for me, are we doing that? Even when we win, and I don't feel like we played a complete game...sometimes just because you win, you don't always feel good about the way you win."
"We talk about what a great rivalry game this is," said Saban, "But it should be a big game for everybody...the fans in this game should have a huge impact." Saban told fans that they can affect and disrupt the Tennessee player by making noise. "As fans, you create momentum of the game by what you do....don't worry about the player creating it, you create it for them one time--one time I'm asking you to do that."
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