What Nick Saban said about his plans for his 70th birthday, Tennessee game


Alabama will return to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time in three weeks on Saturday when they host Tennessee in the annual Schools Inter-Divisional Rivalry Game.

On Thursday night, Nick Saban appeared on his weekly radio show “Hey Coach Show with Nick Saban” to talk about the game.

Here are the highlights:


– Saban said Brian Robinson has been a “real workaholic” for Alabama this season.

– Saban said it was important for the team to prove their identity and heritage. Players have a chance to gain or lose the respect of their teammates. “I think we need to have an exceptional, enthusiastic and passionate crowd that will really improve our opportunities to maintain the intensity,” he said. “It’s a big problem for us. I think this is a big deal for us.

– Eli Gold says that the term “shit through a tin horn” that Saban used in the previous segment was originally used by General George Patton. “I can tell you this, I’ve read a few of his books, but that’s not where it came from. It comes from sitting on the sidelines feeling helpless because you can’t stop the other team, ”Saban said with a laugh.


– Saban received his traditional cake for his birthday. He will be 70 years old on October 31. He said his family visits Lake Burton every year and they spend a day with about 12 couples in the lake house.

–Saban praised Mal Moore for redoing the facilities while on probation so the department can be successful after probation ends. He said Moore came every Sunday and told him stories about Bear Bryant. After Mark Ingram fumbled in the 2010 Iron Bowl, Saban told Moore he could make Ingram always carry the ball in his right hand. Moore told Saban a story about Bear Bryant saying sternly not to mess up a player’s technique like that.

– When asked if he would prefer a low-scoring defensive battle or a high-scoring offensive battle, Saban said he “never thought of it that way”, but when you feel like you can’t stop the other team’s offense, it’s “not a good feeling.” He said those games meant that a mistake or “dropped ball” could make the difference, noting an abandoned capture against Texas A&M.

–Saban said that NFL games are usually decided by score and there are fewer in college, so players need to understand how to play situational football in close games. “It’s something that our players do sometimes well and sometimes not so well.” Saban once again retold a story of facing Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins when he was the Browns ‘defensive coordinator, and Marino looked Saban and the Browns’ defense in the eye knowing he had them. would beat. “They went through us like shit through a tin horn,” recalls Saban.


– Saban said they are starting to train with turnover drills and “it hasn’t worked so far this year, but I hope we’ll turn it around and get of turnover. “

– Saban said Jordan Battle is one of their most consistent players. When the pick-six intercepted last Saturday, Battle anticipated the route, passed it and took off.

– Asked about Traeshon Holden, Saban said he had “played really well” and played every time he was in the game. Saban thought Alabama had “great enthusiasm on the bench” and they were happy especially when Holden scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

– Saban said he was “part of” the players on Thursday, which is university day. They have a threshold for lessons missed before being “in the box” and receive “penalties” for the number of lessons they miss. The same is true for missed meals. He did not disclose the penalties. “Everyone, once in the box, no longer misses lessons. They don’t miss any meals anymore, ”said Saban. “So my question is, from a moral point of view, to do the right thing there has to be a penalty to help us not do the wrong thing?” “

– Saban: “Sometimes I wonder who really hears it and who goes through one ear and comes out the other, who really gets the message and understands it. I can’t really tell. He said that the “good guys” respond well and that there is 10% who do not do it well, and it is the 10% who do not listen well.

– Asked by an 11-year-old in the audience on his birthday about how Alabama will start on offense against Tennessee, Saban said it was a “good question” and they were around 20 years old. pieces in a sequence to find out how they wanted to start the game. . He said they made a similar halftime list. “I’m not going to tell you exactly what these pieces are because someone might listen, but at least in the format, that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.

– Saban said they have 12-14 games which are “fastballs” and one word game calls. “When players are lethargic the best way to get them going is to go fast,” he said. “Most of the time we do this, we have pretty good success. “

– Asked about Bryce Young’s contribution to the scripting of the plays, Saban said, “I don’t really think so. I think what we’re doing may be doing it in a different direction. They ask three quarters what they like about each situation. They don’t want to run what quarterbacks don’t like, Saban said, but he believes coaches with decades of experience can make better decisions about what’s best for the whole team.


– Saban said, “I guess Tennessee is using that as a motivation for them, like we have no respect for them because we made it our way home. said, I can’t hear what’s on the internet.

–Saban said Mississippi State was their most complete game of the season. “We have shown what we can do,” he said, adding that they had to lose and be humiliated to play well. “Now can we show that it’s part of who we are,” he said, “and we don’t have to lose to get motivated again, I hope, or we can never accomplish the things we’re capable of or the goals we have for the season.

– Saban said the players have been good at training this week and “hopefully” that means they can support for 60 minutes and play well.

– Saban on Will Anderson: “He’s not just a good game day player. This guy has some of the best characters, one of the best people we’ve ever had on our team. … He really is as great a person as we have ever had in our team.

– The first caller PeeWee said that the bruise on Nick Saban’s arm looked better. Saban reiterated that the bruise caused by the Texas A&M fan rush “keeps me motivated.”

–Saban said the offensive line has worked well against the state of Mississippi. Saban said it’s difficult in five-a-side protections to block six rushers and it’s not always the offensive line’s fault when sacks are allowed. Saban thinks they can “help” the offensive line more by “changing” the protections.

–Saban said Tennessee are executing a Baylor-style offense with “huge” spreads for wide receivers to extend the defense, making it harder to stop the run and support the safeties. “It’s something that more and more people are doing, so we had to change our style a bit about it,” Saban said, noting that Ole Miss is performing a similar offense. Tennessee forced the defense to stop the run with six players in the box and attack vertically down the field.

– Saban said “it doesn’t matter” which Tennessee quarterback plays – Hendon Hooker is coming off an injury – because both are good runners.

–Tennessee is the fastest offense in the country, Saban said, noting that they sometimes run games with 32 seconds on the 40-second game clock. “It’s hard to have that kind of look in practice because the scout team has to look at a map to know what game they’re up to,” he said.

–Saban noted that Tennessee have lost two close games and could be a one-loss team right now. “They’ve made improvements in every part of their team, in my opinion,” he said.

Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.

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