Coach Saban Opening Statement
“I think today was an opportunity for players to impress. It was the last opportunity really for them to impress on the fact that they could go out and compete. It’s kind of showtime for them to see who would elevate their game and go out there and compete and play winning football. Which is, you know, ‘Are you disciplined enough to do your job? Did you play with the kind of effort kind of toughness, the kind of intangibles that we need? Can you be responsible and accountable to your teammates to do what you need to do to be able to be successful and gain their confidence?’ I think we had probably quite a few guys that did that today, and I was really pleased with the specialists and the way they executed today. I think that a lot of players made plays.
“I think it was really tough conditions. One of the things that we didn’t do all spring was have a wet ball practice, and we never had a practice in the rain, which we’d never done in the spring. We always do in the fall in case we get a day like this when we play a game. I do think that was probably a bit of an issue for throwing the ball and catching the ball and it led to a of couple turnovers early in the game. But all in all, I was pleased with the effort. I’m pleased with the progress that we made in spring.
“Probably one thing that impacted the game as much as anything was the front seven on defense. It was probably a little further ahead than the offensive line. With two starters out and one starter back from last year, we have a lot of inexperienced players, playing positions against some guys that are pretty good players that are pretty good rushers. That probably impacted the game a little bit, and we’ll certainly try to improve that. I think we have. We’ll do it in recruiting, and we’re doing it every way that we can.
“So, all in all, I thought we had a good spring. We had a lot of guys make a lot of progress. I think we know what we need to do. I think the important thing now is players can actually tell where they are, regardless of where they are, and do the things they need to do over the course of the summer and fall camp to make the improvements that they need to make. They’ve got to be committed to that. We have some things that can be distractions to that in this day and age in football, but player maturity, to be able to do that, is going to be very important in their development. We want to continue to focus on the development of our players personally, academically and athletically, so it’s also important that they finish the semester strong academically.”