Nick Saban spent some time this evening with reporters, and here are the highlights:
—Opening comments: “We’ve had a pretty good week so far this week. I think sometimes with players and you have a team that does a lot of different things, it gets their attention. They have a lot of respect for who we’re playing and what they do, so I think we’ve had a pretty good week.
“I think the focus that we’ve tried to get with our players is this is kind of a new season, a new opportunity for us to go out and play with more consistency and performance — not to say that we haven’t played well, we’ve played well at times, we just haven’t played well all the time. I think the basis for that is how important it is for the players to get quality reps in practice so they develop the right habits in practice, so that they can play well. But I also think it’s about how important it is to them, to the leadership, that demands sort of the standard that we’re trying to get. So you demand more of yourself and each other, and that’s all of us, me included.”
—On graduate assistants: “Well, I was a GA myself once. I know how difficult it is get started in this profession, and I appreciated all the people who helped me get my first job, and all those through the year who have helped me get other jobs and other opportunities. I’ve been able to learn from each and every one of those.
“We’re looking for the same things as a character, quality standpoint, work-ethic what kind of person that they are, how important to them it is in terms of what they want to accomplish and what they want to do, and their willingness to put in sort of the quality work it takes for you to really learn, grow and develop. We’ve had some really good guys here, and a lot of guys who have gotten jobs. When a guy stays here for a year or two and really works hard, for relatively little compensation, we try and do everything we can to help them get to where they want to go. We’ve had lots of guys get opportunities and hopefully they’ll continue to get opportunities.”
—On Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson: “He’s a good player. I think they’re very aggressive up-front, they’ve got good linebackers. They play the runs well. They do a lot of stunting and their players know the scheme well. They don’t make very many errors.”
—On facing another no-huddle team: “We play against no-huddle all the time, and I think it’s just a part of the world that we live in now. I think the more you play against it the more your players sort of develop a conscious awareness of how they need to focus and what they need to do to play that pace in the game. Certainly playing against a team that was no-huddle should be a benefit to our players when we play the next no-huddle team. I think we’re going to see it a few more times before it’s all over too, so hopefully we’ll continue to improve and progress.”
—On Deion Belue: “He’s done great. He’s done fine. Taken all the reps.”