SEC MEDIA DAYS: Nick Saban Addresses The Media


Wednesday was the Crimson Tide’s day to take to the podium and Alabama head coach Nick Saban got things started off first thing this morning.

If you want some spicy hot takes from Saban, there really wasn’t any unless you count one quote that some in the national media took out of context and didn’t really understand it. I can’t say I am surprised.

Saban said that between the SEC Championship and the College Football Playoff there was a drop in team chemistry, mainly due to some of the deadlines from the NFL’s Draft process. The deadline for a junior to submit for a draft grade was December 15 which made that fall right between preparation time. “We had six guys in this situation this past year and 11 the year before”, Saban says. “So we’re trying to get ready for a game, and all of a sudden, a guy finds out he’s a first round draft pick or a guy that thought he was a first-round draft pick finds out he’s not a first-round draft pick, and we’re trying to get ready to play a playoff game. I think that it would be better not to submit that information to a player until he was finished competing in college.”

I mean, is it really out of the realm of possibility that a coach would want his players to have a clear mind before a big game? Keep projecting those hot take opinions though.

He also touched a bit on a question about satellite camps but, maintained the same stance on it. He believes that if one Power Five conference can do it, then all should be able to do so. He mentions the recruiting calendar which states when coaches can be off campus for recruiting purposes. It’s pretty simple. Saban believes that if the calendar says you can’t be off campus, you should not be off campus.

Apr 18, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban prior to the annual A-day game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

One of our region’s hottest issues right now is the debate about the confederate flag. When asked his feelings about the situation, Saban responded with “My opinion is anytime we have a symbol that represents something that is mean-spirited or doesn’t represent equal rights for all people, I’m not for having that symbol represent anything that we’re involved in. It’s not my decision as to what the Governor does or my decision what our university does, it’s just my opinion about the way I feel about symbols that are not positive towards human rights and everybody having equal opportunity.”

As far as player news, it was mostly things that we already knew or could guess the answer. Alabama fans are excited about the return of running back Kenyan Drake and it sounds like Saban is, too. Saban loves the mismatches that offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin can create with a player that is as versatile as Drake. Who will hand the ball of to him or throw it to him? We don’t know that one yet. The quarterback competition is still going and Saban said he is waiting to see who steps up to “grab the bull by the horns”.

The only quarterback mentioned was Jake Coker. Saban said, “I think he’s made a tremendous amount of improvement. I think that a better understanding, better knowledge of the system, better knowledge of what we expect, what’s expected of him in our offense are all things that have contributed to his confidence and his performance level. We just want to see him continue to develop the kind of consistency to make the kind of decisions and judgments to process the information quickly and make quick decisions that allow him to play winning football at his position.”

The wide receiver corp will have to try to replace the production of first-round draft pick Amari Cooper. Saban says that they have the talent, but they just need the experience. “It’s an interesting challenge for us to try to get those guys to develop the confidence and the attention to detail that’s necessary to develop the chemistry and the passing game between the quarterback, the pass protection, the receiver running the route, so that people can have the kind of success that they’d like to have. I think it’s going to be important that this group stay positive in their approach so that they can improve throughout the course of the season.”