As with the big Alabama-Texas A&M matchup earlier this year, ESPN was in Tuscaloosa for “All Access” on Wednesday with the program. ESPN kicked off the day with an interview inside the Alabama facilities with Coach Nick Saban.
Saban was again asked about the “60 Minutes” piece, and he again said he hadn’t a chance to see it. Saban and ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi strolled through Alabama’s gorgeous facilities as they spoke. Saban even paid compliment to the media and the type of attention they provide to the program with coverage.
He talked about LSU being a big game every year. As they entered Saban’s office, he said he didn’t think the players were scared when a player comes into that office because for one the meetings there aren’t all bad meetings, and he usually tries to teach when a player comes into his office rather than just yell if it’s for something the player did wrong.
After the Texas rumors started up again last night it was inevitable that Saban was going to get the Texas question, and Tom Rinaldi didn’t disappoint. Saban actually chuckled about it and said he doesn’t know where these rumors keep coming from but he reiterated again that he’s “totally committed to the University of Alabama” and every bit of his focus is on the LSU game this week and what his team needs to do to win this game.
Saban Press Conference
Saban seemed pleased with the way practice has gone so far this week and he said a lot of the focus has been on doing the “small things” right and attention to detail because of how good LSU is and the LSU game usually comes down to two or three big plays that decide the game.
Saban praised the development of Cyrus Jones and Bradley Sylve at cornerback and said that Maurice Smith and Eddie Jackson need to improve their consistency. He said that all of them need to continue to improve though the he likes the way that they compete. Saban mentioned that both Jarrick Williams and Landon Collins have had to bounce around the secondary and now the hope is that they can stay in their current roles.
Saban confirmed that Brandon Ivory would play against LSU after being held out of the Tennessee game.
There has been talk in regards to the most recent Texas rumors that Saban feels more “pressure” now but Saban said the only pressure he feels is “internal” coming from himself in what he wants to accomplish from the team. Saban again smirked when the Texas rumors came up and started shaking his head. He said he doesn’t know where the reports are coming from and none of these rumors are anything new. He said he doesn’t need to talk about again but he is happy at Alabama and he doesn’t want to leave, and that the team is focused on LSU. In regards to some of the claims have made about things his agent or he has said Saban said “no one has said any of those things.”
Saban mentioned that Alvin Kamara has not been at practice of late because of “behavioral reasons” but did not say whether he was officially suspended or not.
Saban praised freshman A’Shawn Robinson and said that he hates to have to move around a young guy like that in different roles but that Robinson is very bright and has been able to handle it. He said he has a lot of potential and a lot of talent. He also praised senior defensive end Ed Stinson and said that he’s not just very consistent but is also a great leader.
Back on the practice field ESPN’s camera crews were still watching practice along with Tom Rinaldi.
Cornerback Bradley Sylve was a full participant along with fellow corner Deion Belue and both look like they will certainly play Saturday. Belue is showing no signs of being slowed down but Sylve was still limping a bit during drills. Cyrus Jones is manning the other cornerback opposite of Deion Belue right now which may suggest Jones will get the start this weekend.
Defensive tackle Dakota Ball is finally back on the practice field. The backup lineman missed most of fall camp after having an appendectomy early on and then broke his foot a few weeks ago as he had finally returned from that ailment. Ball was wearing a black, non-contact jersey and he was the only one on the team wearing one.
Running back/h-back Jalston Fowler is back in his regular practice jersey and should be good to go for the LSU game.
Freshman tailback Alvin Kamara was not spotted at practice again today due to “behavioral reasons.”
Defensive end LaMichael Fanning was not at practice as he continues his suspension.