Everything Nick Saban said on Day 1 of fall camp
On Thursday, Saban held his first of eight media availabilities throughout fall camp. Here's everything Saban said at his first press conference:
Saban's opening statement to the media:
We're excited to be back practicing again. Had really good work all summer. Good work in the offseason. Continue to try to build on that during camp. And I don't care what you do in preparation, when you start practicing it's just a little bit different. So today's an opportunity for every player to see where they are and what they have to do to get where they want to go.
And I think the point that players have to understand is, they have to invest in themselves. We're not really asking them to sacrifice anything. But if we're going to practice well and have guys sustain it and be able to sustain the entire practice, which means they can finish plays, finish practice, finish games _ then they have to take care of themselves off the field. How they eat. How they hydrate. How they sleep. As well as be able to take advantage of taking care of themselves when they get on the field.
And I think that's critical that especially new players at a lot of positions, have the opportunity to get lots of reps. I think that's the key for their development, especially in fall camp and how they're going to be able to contribute early on in the season.
Really not much else to say out of it at this point. After one practice, you can't really make a lot of evaluations about who did what. We'll watch the film later and kind of see where guys are and take them from wherever they are to wherever we need them to get and try to get them to commit to try to get there.
On his comment that last season was a "rebuilding year":
Well, I don't understand what's so hard to understand. The point being, we were young and we should have nine starters back on offense and nine starters back on defense. That's the point I was trying to make. Six guys went out for the draft, so as we usually have to do, we have lots of rebuilding to do again this season. So that's the point that I was trying to make. So when you have a lot of young players playing, I don't think our standard is like everybody else's standard, but when you have a lot of young players playing, you're actually trying to rebuild so those guys get the kind of experience you need so they can play at the level you need them to play at, so you can play to the standard you want to play to.
On if he has an injury report:
I don't know who you're talking about specifically. I don't have an injury report in front of me.
On if he had an update on Darrian Dalcourt and Ja'Corey Brooks:
Darrian and Ja'Corey are back, so that's not an issue. Look, we're gonna have guys that are able to practice and not able to practice on a daily basis, and we're not gonna have an injury report every day about who practiced and who didn't practice. So those guys are practicing, though. If you ask me specific questions, I'll be glad to give you specific answers.
On the importance of players' building a rapport with the coordinators returning:
I think it's really good for the players. I think the comfort zone that they have the same play-callers, same signal-callers, same system, some presentation of that system. We don't change the system when we change coordinators, but the personality and how that gets presented sometimes is a little different. I think there's a lot of, sort of, comfort level with players. I think our staff did a really good job. We had a couple new additions on both sides of the ball and special teams. But I think they did a really good job of quality control, what we need to do better, what we can do better, how we want to try to improve. So this first day, we're just gonna kind of see where we're at and kind of go from there. But it's always good to have continuity on the staff.
On his confidence in Alabama's tight end depth behind Latu:
Well, Cam is going to be, miss some time in camp. I don't know for exactly how long. Which is an opportunity. I think we have a couple, three freshmen, young guys that have an opportunity to develop. So it will give them a lot of reps and a lot of opportunity in camp. So, that's a position that we definitely need to develop some depth at, and this will give us a good opportunity to do that.
On if he knows what's wrong with Latu:
Yeah, I do. I don't know, just like I really don't know what's wrong with Cam. I was at practice today, but I don't know what's wrong with him.
On the mindset of all three quarterbacks going into camp:
I don't really know what the mindset of them are, either, as if I wasn't at practice today. Look, the quarterbacks have worked really hard. Bryce has done a really good job from a leadership standpoint as well as understanding the offense. A lot of confidence in what he's doing, making good decisions. I think he sets a really good example for the other guys. I think Jalen Milroe has made a significant amount of progress. We still want to continue to work with him and developing Ty as a young player who is in the developmental stage but we are pleased with the progress he's making. So I think everybody's got a really good attitude, if you're asking about mindset, and I think everybody is really working hard to try to get to where they would like to be, and where we'd like for them to be.
On what he wants to see changed on the offensive line:
Well I don't think there's any questions that we need to play better on the offensive line. We need to be more physical up front first of all and we need to get moving on the run and be more consistent. I think we need to be more avid and diverse in the running game, that would also help. I think the additions we made in the offseason is going to be helpful with that, and I think overall, we need to have a different mentality in terms of the intangibles that we play with. The toughness, the effort, the offensive line is where that get established on your team and we need leadership so that the players actually understand the standard that we need them to play to. Somebody is not going to accept the fact that guys aren't playing that way. I like the players that we have, I like the attitude that they play with at this point, I like the coach that we have now and his energy and enthusiasm that he is teaching the players with. I like the additions that we made in the running game to maybe add a little more consistency there, which is going to help play-actions passes and a lot of other advantage throws that we can do when we run the ball effectively. I think it's a very important part of what we need to improve on, but I'm kind of encouraged by it.
On the players' mindset after Alabama lost the national championship:
I'd like for players to have that kind of edge for who they want to be, how they want to play, to be the best players that they can be, regardless of what happened last year. Whether they won and had success, like we did the year before, whether we lost and there was a little humiliation in terms of pride and performance and not being able to finish the way we like and losing the game in the fourth quarter. I think all of those things are a motivating factor for players. Now you've heard me speak many, many times, people respond better when things don't go well. I'd like for players to respond well no matter how things go. When they go well, they are kind of relentless and are continuing to try and improve. Not be satisfied, not be complacent and I think it's human nature to feel that way, but it's not something you can do if you really want to be successful and play at a high level at a consistent basis. Hopefully, we're going to be able to have success and players are going to have to deal with that success. They are going to have to accept the challenge. We are going to play against a lot of really good competition and everybody is going to try to play their best game when they play against us. Regardless of whether we are winning or losing, we want to play to a standard. Although I do acknowledge that when you lose and bad things happen, from a human nature standpoint, people seem to respond a little bit better. Is that what we want? No, but I think that's something that's pretty normal for most of us human beings.