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Head Coach Nick Saban - Press Conference Quotes - August 4, 2007



Head Coach Nick Saban
Press Conference Quotes
Aug. 4, 2007


“I was obviously pleased to get started yesterday and excited about the opportunities we have to work with the players we have to improve our team. I think it started with number one, we improved the conditioning of our team with I think around 75 percent of our players having passed their conditioning tests and a significant amount of those who didn’t were right at the edge. When I say that, everybody needs to understand that it was a very good job that was done in the summer conditioning program with players that worked very hard. I think that when you have improved physically from that standpoint, from a strength and conditioning standpoint, we have made a significant improvement starting back in January, to the off season program, to spring practice, to the summer program, so we are getting closer to the standard of what we would like. Obviously the goal is to have every player be in top physical condition but we are pleased that we were able to make progress with every player having improved physically in some area. “

“There was good carryover with the players from spring practice from a mental standpoint. We were very much pleased with that in terms of the approach that we were able to take to the field for the first day. Mentally, I think that the difficult circumstance, especially yesterday afternoon, was the heat. I think the heat created a tremendous opportunity for our players to overcome some difficulty, some adversity where it was challenging for them to stay focused and on the task. Some obviously did it better than others but I think that that is something that is a great lesson in perseverance for all of them and the difficulty that creates and will continue to create will certainly help the development of our mental toughness as a team.”

“I think the young players had a good first day and we were pleased with the quality of the group and the attitude that they seemed to bring with a lot of energy and enthusiasm with the group, which is good. There is usually a little more anxiety, I’m sure there was some anxiety, but I think that the fact that the players that were here probably benefitted from being here this summer, we had all except a few that were here for the entire summer, I think that helps their ability to adjust socially and academically as well as their ability to adjust physically to what is going to be expected of them as football players. They feel a little more comfortable, a little more at home, just due to the fact that they have been working out in the weight room and in the summer conditioning program with a lot of the other players.”

“We are going to try to practice, and I think that everybody needs to understand this, I tried to explain it the other day and I’m going to expound on it a little more that when we practice in early fall camp, it is a little bit like spring practice. We really don’t have a depth chart and really the emphasis is on player development to give guys opportunities, especially with younger players on the team and especially as we install things the first time around, to try to be able to give them an opportunity so we can make some judgment or assessment on if this is someone who we feel like might be able to help our team. So it’s the reason that we have a split practice for the first practice and it’s to benefit player development.”

“We were able to spend more time with the fewer numbers of players that we had on the field and part of that was to have some experienced players in each group. We had younger players, but we had experienced players in each group, and that was to help create an example for some of the players. We had all the players who knew how to do the drills do them first so the younger players could see how they were supposed to be done. To read too much into that probably wouldn’t be correct.”