Saban Updates Bama’s Injured Defenders
Alabama coach Nick Saban spoke Monday on his team's injuries, Dallas Turner's roughing call and more heading into Saturday's Kentucky matchup. Here's a look at those remarks.
"No new thoughts after watching the LSU game. It was probably the most complete game we’ve played all year, especially with the way we executed in the second half. I thought, offensively, we controlled the line of scrimmage, we had great balance, Jalen (Milroe) played really well, obviously, being the player of the week.
"I think this team has created an opportunity for itself, so everybody has to make a choice. What do you want to do? To prepare and continue to play at the level we’re capable of playing at and continuing to improve. I don’t think this is a time for anybody to be complacent. I know that even Sunday morning when I got up, I was like, ‘Wow, I’m tired,’ but you’ve got to go, man. You’ve got to keep going. You’ve got to keep grinding. You’ve got to keep focused on what you have to do to get better and prepare for the next game.
"Kentucky is a completely different kind of team than what we played against a week ago and what we did last week is not going to have any impact on what we do this week. They’re tough, they’re physical, they’re well-coached. Coach (Mark) Stoops does a really, really good job with his team, in terms of the competitive character that they play with and the intangibles that they have.
"They’re 6-3. They’ve got some really explosive players on offense. The quarterback has played really well for them. They’ve got great balance on offense. Their defense is tough and physical and really well-coached in terms of what they do. Barion Brown is a really good returner.
On what went into Jam Miller and Kendrick Law both being more involved in the offensive plan
"'K-Law' has been a significant player for us all year long, especially on special teams, and he’s had some role on offense. We did expand that role a little bit. Guy’s a great competitor, a really hard worker. He has a skillset that, I think, can be utilized offensively, and I think we’re starting to use that.
"Jam has played really, really well all year long. Jase (McClellan) has played a lot of football this year and is a little bit banged up, so those guys have gotten more reps in practice, so I wanted to give him and Roydell (Williams) a little more time in the game, and both guys came through and did a really good job."
On the increasing comfort level of Milroe
"I think that it's probably a combination of both. I think as Jalen gets more comfortable, more confident, he's reading and seeing things so he can actually do a little more and do some different things. But I also think the rest of the guys around him are getting more comfortable and executing better. So all those things contribute to us being able to do a few things we can take advantage of. That's different every week, in terms of what kind of defense are you playing and what do they do and how can you try to take advantage of it.
On how Ja'Corey Brooks’ is handling decreased playing time
"He's done a great job. He's done a great job on special teams. He's been a little hurt which has contributed to his role, to some degree, but he's been great. He's done a great job on special teams. He's done everything we've asked him to do. When he's gone in the game, he's done a really good job of doing what he needs to do. He got his shoulder banged up, which has been a little bit of an issue for him all year, in the game, so we'll see how it goes this week as well."
On the injury status of safety DeVonta Smith
"He's actually getting to the point where he's able to do dry-land running. I think he's gotten up to like 80% or something like that. He’s getting closer but we just have to wait and see. That's kind of day-to-day too."
On what Malachi Moore means to the secondary
"Malachi is a great leader but he's also very smart. He's got lots of experience, he understands the system of what we do. I think he really helps the other guys with adjustments that we need to make in the game. He's been invaluable. He's played well and I think he's helped everybody around him play better."
On DC Kevin Steele's halftime defensive adjustments
"We all contribute to trying to make adjustments in the games. Kevin's done a really good job. He's in the box, so he has a really good perspective of what we didn't do correctly, what we need to fix. What's not working, what might work better. But I think we also do a great job on the sidelines of showing the players the series before. The first series of the second half was not a good one for us, but we actually played better toward the end of the game. But I think we need to have a little more consistency. The drive right before the half was not great. The first drive of the second half was not great, but I thought we played really, really well after that. But we're getting a lot of stuff, man. A lot of multiples that players have to adjust to, and we want to do more things, but make it simpler for the players, so we can actually do these things, and be able to adjust to all the stuff we're seeing, so they're confident we can make the adjustments we need to make."
On Saban's perspective on Dallas Turner’s roughing call
"I don't know if there is a technical coaching point. You always tell the players you want them to see what they hit. He hit the guy sort of in the chin, so it wasn't like a direct hit or an intentional hit to the head. It was a really good hit, but unfortunately, his helmet did slide up and hit the guy. It's a foul if you hit the quarterback in the head. It's going to get called all the time. And we just want to have him keep his eyes up and see what he hits and hopefully target down a little bit so it doesn't happen again."
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