Here’s what Nick Saban had to say on Wednesday night when Alabama will face Auburn in the annual Iron Bowl:
“I’m honored,” Saban said of the low turnout with reporters. “Haven’t you guys gone somewhere else?”
[Note: Saban does he has his radio show tonight as tomorrow is Thanksgiving]:
• The most important thing is to stay focused and prepare well. We want to finish strong.
• Saban wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Let’s think about what we have, not what we don’t have.
• Family-oriented meals on Thursdays for all players.
• Saturday is Seniors’ Day. Honoring 17 seniors.
• Left tackle Tyler Steen (ankle) trained.
• Auburn ran the ball well. They play in many formations and staff groups. You have to try to adapt.
• Running back Jahmyr Gibbs (ankle), cornerback Eli Ricks (head) and tight end Cameron Latu (ankle) are all training.
• Are you looking forward to being in the stadium after being covid two years ago? Saban laughs and finally says yes. Said he didn’t quite realize there was a delay in transmission. So he watched the live feed he had and then rewatched the piece on TV a few seconds later.
“I think the most important thing for our players is to stay focused and have the energy and enthusiasm day in and day out to prepare for this game. Obviously everyone knows it’s a big game for a lot of people and our players certainly want to finish well and be very proud of what they did and play against a very good team and the best chance for us to play well is to stay focused and prepare properly throughout the week.
“I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. This is a time of year when we give grateful and appreciative thanks for all the things we have. I know that most of the time we think about what we don’t have, but this is a really good time to think about what we have and to be thankful and have a lot of gratitude for it.
“One of the things we’re going to do with the team tomorrow is bring practice up so we can finish a little earlier so guys who either live nearby or have family here can have Thanksgiving dinner with them can have. For those who can’t, we have players at home and some of the other coaches have players at home. We’re trying to make this as family-oriented as possible for players to make it feel good for Thanksgiving.
“Then on Saturday, Seniors’ Day, we honor 17 seniors who have contributed amazingly well to this program. Not just by winning 46 games, but by winning a national championship and two SEC titles, but by the class with which they’ve represented the university, how they’ve grown and developed as people, which we very, very much appreciate are proud. Almost all of these guys have graduated or are on their way to graduating, so we’re also very proud of them for their achievements and how they’ve made it through their investment and what they’ve been able to achieve while here in Alabama were created value for their future.”
On Auburn’s running game:
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“They play really well. They are doing a great job running and they have really good plans. They’ve got good players, good backs, quarterbacks, and a good runner, so he kind of adds to that too. I still think they’re very capable of throwing the ball, but they’ve been playing and trying to win on the scrimmage line and have been pretty effective at that for the last couple of games.”
About Tyler Steen:
To emphasize stopping the run:
“They play in a lot of different staff groups and most of the time we play three wide receivers and a tight end, sometimes four wide receivers. They have a three wide receiver formation, but they play a lot of tight ends and play a lot of staff groups. You have to try to do that as best as you can, but they do a very good job trying to create advantages for them with formations. You have to be able to customize all those things too.”
Jahmyr Gibbs, Eli Ricks and Cam Latu Injury Updates:
“They’ve all practiced.”
On coaching his first Iron Bowl at home since 2018…
“I was here in 2020.”
You had COVID, you were at home.
“Yes, but I was here. I saw the game.”
Are you looking forward to being back in the stadium?
“Damn yes. You act like I went to the moon or something. I watched the game. The interesting thing about watching the game at home is that I never noticed that the TV copy was a few seconds behind the real copy. So I have an actual film shoot and I have the TV on so I can watch the play and see it again. It was quite an effective experience, and for what little I could communicate, I was able to contribute somewhat.”
Running back Trey Sanders enters the transfer portal
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