Saban: No Sign Stealing Worries
Alabama coach Nick Saban met with reporters Monday evening ahead of the Crimson Tide's CFP matchup with No. 1 Michigan. Here's what he said on injuries, new hires and sign stealing:
"The first three days of practice we've really tried to focus on fundamentals. I think everybody's got to practice with a plan, a sense of purpose. Everybody's got to kind of reinvest into conditioning, reinvest into fundamental techniques, discipline to execute, blocking, tackling. It will all translate into positive performance in the game. And I think it's hard to carry the momentum from the season into the game when you've got almost a month between games."
"It's a great opportunity for our players. It's a great challenge for them. But you're not really owed anything when you play in these games. It's like a one-game season when you're playing in the playoffs, so we've got to put everything into it we can. And everybody's working hard to try to do that."
On doing self-scouting ahead of CFP
"There's no question about it. We do quality control just about every week on what our tendencies are in what we're doing. What we can do to try to break those in some way, shape or form. And certainly with this extra time here that's something that we most certainly are trying to do."
"George has been here before. He was with us for a long time. Knows our system. I think every year that we've been in the playoffs we've tried to bring somebody in, primarily because we spent two weeks really on the road recruiting. So somebody to do a little extra work that has good experience. And when we get off the road, being able to give us a good scouting report of what we need to know. So that's the purpose, just to add sort of a special assistant to me, whatever you want to call it to when I come off the road be able to get me up to speed on what's happening. So that's the reason we've always done that."
"Not really. We always change things up a little bit. We're focused on what we have to do to try to get good execution and we're not really concerned about any of that stuff."
On Jase McClellan's injury
"He's getting better. I think it's probably still too early to tell. He's getting ready to do dry-land running and some things. He'll progress through the rest of the week and we'll see where he lands by the end of the week."
"Look, we're not concerned about any of that stuff right now. We got a game coming up. Coleman Hutzler is here, he's finishing the season. I don't have time right now to go through the due diligence of hiring anybody or even be concerned about that. We're focused on what we got to do right now."
On Jim Harbaugh, Tom Crean relationships
"Tom Crean was an assistant basketball coach for Tom Izzo when I was back at Michigan State. He's a good man, good friend. It's a great family, the Harbaugh family. I knew the dad. He used to help me when I was a secondary coach. His brother John are great football people. I've got a lot of respect for the entire family and Tom Crean is part of that family."
"Yeah. He is. He'll be fine."
On Michigan, trick plays
"I think they do a really good job on offense of week-to-week they've got a pretty good plan formationally in terms of their ability to go out and give you some different looks. It's a challenge for the players to have the discipline and the eye control to look at the right things so that when those kind of plays come up, you're in position to play them. I don't think that they do it any more than anybody else that we play. I just think it's a good part of your offense to be able to have those things that complement some of the things you do, down in and down out."
On meetings with players about futures
"I did talk to all the players after the Georgia game. But what I talk to players about is really not for public consumption. I mean, there's some things that I think are still sacred on a team. If you want to talk to a guy about his future, that should be sacred. If he wants to share his feelings with you, I think you should ask him."
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Gallery Credit: Meg Summers