Alabama Football: Latest news from Nick Saban and player updates

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

On Monday, Nick Saban talked about Auburn and gave the latest information on the several Alabama football players who have been battling injuries.

As Iron Bowl week officially began on Monday, Alabama football coach, Nick Saban shared some interesting comments with the media. Saban is always careful to find something positive to say about an upcoming opponent. He certainly did that when describing the Auburn Tigers.

Except for the “probably” qualifier, Nick rated the Auburn Tigers over the other Tigers who are the nation’s number one team. Maybe Nick was being strategic and trying to send a message to the Selection Committee.

Or perhaps he was tunnel-vision focused on defense. There is no real argument that Auburn has a better defense than LSU and maybe Georgia as well. The Tigers also have the most impressive defensive front in college football.

Asked about Mac Jones’ big challenge of a road game against a top team, Saban said,

"You have to be confident in your ability in that role… Positive body language is really important. Everybody’s striving to be perfect, nobody really can be. Somewhere along the line you want to hit on exceptional… But when it doesn’t go the way you’d like for it to go, we’ve got focus on the next play, we’ve got to learn from that play and I think that’s really important for the quarterback not to get at all frustrated about the circumstance and continue to focus on the next play. His teammates need to see that and have confidence in his ability"

Saban also credited the competitive level Mac Jones faces in practice as a reason Jones has progressed as a starter. Mac has certainly worked in practice against a better secondary than he will see in Jordan-Hare. That’s not true of the defensive fronts.

The Crimson Tide’s chances against Auburn will be improved if several Alabama football players can return to action. According to Saban, Henry Ruggs III (bruised ribs) and Phidarian Mathis (undisclosed) will practice this week. Raekwon Davis (ankle) and D.J. Dale (twisted knee) were categorized by Saban as day-to-day. There was less positive news on Will Reichard, with no announced timeframe for his return. The best guess is Wednesday will be the cutoff day for Reichard. If he can kick on that day, he might be able to kick field goals against the Tigers.

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Saban was asked about Tua making the trip to Auburn. Nick said it would be up to Tua who would be welcome but the higher priority now is getting him back in classes.