What Saban Said: SEC Teleconference
In-season Wednesdays mean a double serving of Nick Saban quotes. Part one comes mid-day on the SEC Coaches Teleconference. Part two comes around 6 p.m. at the Mal Moore building. Here's a look at what Saban said during his SEC teleconference appearance.
“We’re trying to get our guys to get back to technical execution. Sometimes when you have a bye week, you’ve got to kind of get refocused. We’re obviously playing a great team in LSU, a great offensive team. They lead the country, No. 1 team in the nation offensively. Jayden Daniels, obviously, to me, is an outstanding quarterback, really good passer, really good runner with the ball, can extend plays.
"They’ve got great receivers. Aggressive on defense. [Edge rusher] Harold Perkins is really a disruptive player. So this is going to be a great challenge for us but something that we embrace and... look forward to playing in these kind of games.”
On this being the last Alabama-LSU game on CBS
“We have a great relationship with the folks at CBS. I think CBS has been great for the SEC. I think back in the day, we were like the first conference that had our own network, so we had nationally televised games when most other conferences were regionally televised. And I think that really was helpful to the growth and development and continued development of the SEC as a whole.
"I think that this [LSU] game is primetime because they have a great team, we usually have a pretty good team and it usually has significant consequences for what’s going to happen relative to the West and who has a chance to ... and no different this year... as to who has a chance to maybe win this side of it.”
On his former players at LSU now in coaching
“I love all those guys. They did a great job for us. But I think sometimes some guys don’t understand – whether you want to call it tough love or whatever – when you’re trying to get guys to do things the right way. So that not only impacts their ability to play better when they’re on the team but also it has an impact on them having a chance to be more successful in life.
"Look, I never realized what my dad was trying to do to me when I was growing up and when I was a teenager and when I was first in college. But at some point in time, you kind of get it and you say, ‘Wow, I understand why he was tough on me or making me do something the way he made me do it or whatever.’ So I’m happy to hear that some of those lessons learned are being beneficial to these guys.”
On the 20-year anniversary of his 2003 title at LSU
“It doesn’t feel like 20 years (laughs). But look, I love that team. That team’s always going to be special because that was our first championship, and those guys came to LSU when we weren’t very good and a lot of guys on that team bought into what we were trying to do and sort of set the precedent for what the program was all about. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate their commitment and the way they competed all year long. Just a great bunch of young men.”
On the challenge to identify LSU’s pre-snap motions/ route combinations
“I think that’s one of the things that they do a great job of. They do a great job with formations. They do a great job with motions, which creates opportunities for the defense to have to adjust and then still be able to play not only the route combinations but also the run game that they have, which is at times similar to triple option where you have a zone player, you have a quarterback pulling it and you have somebody in the flat, whether they’re blocking for the quarterback or running a flat pass.
"So this is very challenging because you’ve got to have the right numbers not only in coverage but you also have to have the right numbers in the run game. They’ve got great players doing it, but they’ve got a great concept that they’ve developed those players in, and they do a great job of executing it.”
On wanting Alabama/LSU to be permanent opponents moving forward
“I think this is a great game that has tremendous fan interest, and it’s been a great game for however long I’ve been here. They’ve got a great atmosphere. We’ve got a great atmosphere at our stadium. I think both fan bases look forward to the game, and I think as many of these types of fan interest, rivalry games, whatever you want to call them, that we can sort of keep over time is beneficial to the conference and beneficial to the players who play the game.”
On keeping players focused on winning as opposed to playoff standings
“No, I don’t think so. I think we’re not even focused on – you said focused on winning. I think we want to focus on the execution that we need to get so that we have the opportunity to have success, win, whatever you want to call it, and practice every day the technical things that are going to help you be able to carry over in the game that will actually help you execute so that you will have an opportunity to be successful against really good players and really good teams. It’s more stay focused on the process of what you have to do and not become outcome-oriented and create a bunch of anxiety for yourself but just the next play, play that moment, don’t look at the scoreboard, don’t be affected by external factors. And that’s challenging, but I think that’s the best way to go about it.”
On how challenging the final month of the season is
“Well, we’ve got one game that we’re looking at right now. That’s the next one that we play. It’s challenging in this conference if you look at the last five games you’ve played, they’re all challenging, too. We’ve got a really, really challenging game this week that we’re trying to focus on and do the best we can to have an opportunity to make the next game important.”
On considering LSU as the permanent opponent
“I haven’t really thought about it that much. But we’ve got some natural rivalry games here that have tremendous fan interest, whether it’s Auburn, Tennessee and LSU. So if you’re only going to play one of those, somebody is going to be disappointed. I think if we eventually expand the schedule in the league, which probably will happen someday with that many teams, and you have three fixed, then you probably got a little better chance of that happening.”