Nick Saban with a weekly update and word of caution to the team

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Nick Saban announced Thursday afternoon that preparation for Duke has begun. He also laid down a subtle challenge to his team.

Nick Saban was calm and reflective on Thursday afternoon. He patiently considered questions and gave thoughtful responses. He gave updates on various injured players. More of that is included below.

He ended the never credible rumors about Antonio Alfano. Saban explained Alfano had missed a couple of days for personal reasons. Message boards had been filled with claims the former 5-Star freshman, was considering transfer options. Saban did not elaborate but the young defensive end was back at work on Thursday and appeared fully healthy from an earlier tweaked knee.

In Nick’s introduction, he explained what he and the Alabama football coaching staff were looking for from the Crimson Tide players. Some may say his words were nothing more than coach-speak. We disagree. Nick Saban chooses his words carefully and he often uses the media review setting to send messages to his players.

This time he gave a fairly lengthy explanation of how team units fail when even just one man fails to do his job. Going back to youth football, every college football player in the nation has heard the ‘we’, not ‘me’ theme. Why would Nick Saban decide to reinforce it again as Duke preparation begins? There are two very good reasons.

The main reason is the 2019 Alabama Crimson Tide is a very young team. Younger, less experienced players are rarely known for attention to detail. And nothing sparks Nick Saban’s ire as much as lack of attention to EVERY detail.

The other related reason is the relative lack of strength of the Crimson Tide’s opening opponent. Taking ANY opponent lightly is a cardinal sin to Nick Saban.

So Nick Saban told, what must be a small number of players, to get their ‘we’ right and discard their ‘me’ or maybe consider playing a non-team sport like golf or tennis.

Player Updates

  • D. J. Dale and Jerome Ford are progressing in getting back to full health. Both have a chance to play against Duke. Dale is ‘probable’ and Ford is ‘day-to-day.’
  • Freshmen inside linebacker, Christian Harris was doing drills without a knee brace for the first time since he tweaked a knee.
  • There were no new injuries to report.

Check out the full Saban video.

Next. A Dangerous Nick Saban. dark

The only thing surprising about Saban’s words was the delivery. For a couple of years now, Nick seems to be considering a blend of mellow does not dampen a message. He was calm on Thursday, almost matter-of-fact. Except Nick Saban is never matter-of-fact.