Alabama Crimson Tide Arrives In New Orleans, Saban Talks Yeldon’s Status (Videos)


It’s been just under a month since Alabama Crimson Tide fans have seen the team in action but they won’t have to wait much longer. The Tide arrived in New Orleans, LA yesterday and they get ready for the January 1 match-up with the Ohio State Buckeyes for a berth in the title game for the College Football Playoff on the line.

Shortly after landing at the airport, Coach Nick Saban and a few players spoke to the media before departing to begin their bowl week.

Folks have been wondering what the status for Tide running back T.J. Yeldon would be heading into the game and Saban addressed that right after arriving. “Hopefully he’ll continue to progress,” Saban said. “He had a significant amount of time off but he seems to be making progress now and I’m hopeful that he’ll be able to make a contribution in the game.” Saban also said that Yeldon participated in the last two practices in Tuscaloosa before heading out.

When the season got underway in Atlanta against West Virginia, quarterback Blake Sims was making his first career start and there were a lot of questions surrounding the team. “We didn’t know for sure were we going and what we were going to do but through a lot of hard work, dedication and team togetherness, they’ve certainly improved and over came a lot of adversity”, Saban said. He added that they have put themselves in position to play a great team for a great opportunity.

A lot of times after a long hangover without any games, teams can come out flat out of the gate but that’s usually not the case with a Saban coached team with a lot on the line to accomplish. “The focus here is something that I think will be very, very important to playing well”, Saban said. “I think maintaining intensity for a bowl game is one of the critical factors for any team in terms of their ability to get back to playing the kind of football that got them here”.

One person you won’t have to worry about being focused is Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper sounds like he is ready to just take care of business and not wanting to take part in any of the New Orleans excitement. “Personally, I only speak for myself,” said Cooper. “No disrespect to the place. But I don’t really like New Orleans. Too much going on. I don’t like Bourbon Street. It doesn’t smell good.”

A business trip seems to be the theme, as it always is, just from hearing the players talk. When asked if there was a different feeling to being in New Orleans now versus last year, Alabama’s Landon Collins said, “Right now, it’s just a business trip and that’s how we are going to treat it. We are going to do what we have to do and hopefully bring home that win”.