Nick Saban’s Comments From SEC Coaches’ Teleconference


Nick Saban spoke to the media as part of the weekly SEC coaches’ teleconference. On the eve of Alabama’s showdown with LSU, Saban addressed questions about injuries, Blake Sims, and the pressure of heading into Death Valley.

Highlights of his comments:

Both TJ Yeldon and Cam Robinson have returned to practice this week:

“I feel like both guys could play in the game this week. TJ probably for sure, Cam we’re just kinda day-to-day on. As we increase the workload it’ll be based on how his ankle sorta responds to the workload so we just have to take that day to day.”

On the SEC coaches that have ties to the Big Ten:

The Big Ten is a really, really good league and a lot of good coaches, good teams, great schools, good programs.  I don’t think there’s any question that when you coach in a league like that you learn a lot about yourself as well as what you need to do to improve as a coach. I think it’s as good a league as anywhere from a coaching perspective.

On the process of Blake Sims’ improvement over the season as a first-year starter:

“The most important thing when it comes to the quarterback position is the ability to process information and make quick decisions. And some people respond to that a little more quickly from sort of an athletic intuition standpoint that somebody else … I think Blake Sims, for instance, is an instinctive player. So for him to make progress in that regard is more an issue of knowledge and experience game management calling the right plays getting the team in the right play, making the right checks, because his ability to process information and make the right plays once he gets the ball in his hand, that’s not ever really been his issue.”

On Alabama’s improved running game:

“I think we’ve done a better job of executing, and I think we’ve learned a little bit more about our team in terms of what we have to do to be effective running the ball. Obviously the team we play this week is one of the better defensive teams we’ve had to face, so it’ll be a lot more challenging. But the key to it for us is when we’ve been able to create balance with what we do, both run and pass has worked better for us.”

On the challenge of playing in Death Valley:

“It’s the kind of game we expect and we have so much respect for their program, their coaches, their players. We know how they’re gonna compete in the game and what kind of a place this is to play in. But if you’re a great competitor you like challenges like this, and hopefully our players are looking at it in a real positive sense in terms of the difficulty of the challenge we have.”

On the ascension of Anthony Jennings and Blake Sims:

“I think in both cases, both guys that have had more time in the system, in the program, have a better understanding of what’s expected of them and go out and play with a lot more poise and ability to execute. And I think that has created better consistency for them.”