Nick Saban Speaks on Texas A&M at SEC Teleconference


Alabama head coach Nick Saban addressed the media during this week’s SEC coaches teleconference. He addressed the upcoming game with Texas A&M, the trouble with building an elite offensive line, and the Crimson Tide’s troubles fielding punts.

On Texas A&M:

“Obviously an outstanding team. Very, very explosive offensive team that scores a lot of points and makes a lot of big plays, and has a lot of big play players. Defensively I think they’re much improved and this is one of the best teams we’ve had to play all year long. It’s gonna be a real challenge for our players. We’re happy to be at home.”

On Rolando McClain’s resurgence:

“I don’t think there’s any question about Rolando McClain and his desire to play, but I also think sometimes things happen in your life that maybe are more important, and until you get those things sort of settled in your mind and feel comfortable with those issues it’s really hard to focus on football.”

“Ro’s always been a guy I’ve had a lot of respect for … sometimes things take priority before you can really focus on what you’re trying to do as a football player. … I’m happy to see he’s having a good year.”

On punt returns:

“We work on it all the time. … When people do a lot of this spread-out, rugby-type punts you don’t always get catchable balls. I think that we don’t always practice that enough. And I think that’s something we that we’ve just practiced more and the players are more aware, and hopefully we won’t have those issues in the future.”

On the autograph signing controversy:

It’s always a concern of ours any time there’s an issue in college football, it’s an issue that’s hard to control externally. Our compliance people try to do the best job they can so we do

“There’s a lot of folks out there that are trying to do these types of things for their own personal benefit and it’s the player that’s going to suffer the consequences if he doesn’t make a good choice and a good decision.”

On defending the Texas A&M offense:

“You gotta play very disciplined and have great eye control in terms of reading run/pass, and disciplined coverage responsibility. Affecting the quarterback is always important, not getting turnovers is very important. Not allowing them to have a lot of explosive plays, which you know, we didn’t do very well last year.”

On What it takes to have an elite offensive line:

“Obviously it starts with being able to recruit good players. Number two is developing those players, because I think offensive line is a developmental position. And I think that probably the one factor that has change a little bit in football in general is there’s a lot more spread and a lot more spread option type football in high school and as guys are growing up. So to find powerful guys to play offensive line becomes more difficult because of the way the style of football has changed. And I think you have to make sure that your style of football is something that you can recruit players to.”

On Kurt Frietag’s status:

“I’ve been informed by the authorities not to make comment about this investigation, so I would like to leave it at that.”