Aug 26, 2013
- Alabama head coach Nick Saban
and select players met with the media Monday afternoon in the Naylor Stone Media Suite in the Mal Moore Athletics Building. The group was previewing the season opener against Virginia Tech.
"It's an exciting time; it's always an exciting time when it's game week. It's a great opportunity for every team, and specifically our team, to sort of show people who you are. Are you going to be the real thing, or are you going to be someone that's just kind of out there? Can you deliver in a critical time in a game? Are you going to be a blinking light? Are you going to be a guy that can do a job on a consistent basis? Somebody the other team is going to look at and say, `Hey we could take advantage of that guy.' Are you going to be a guy that's responsible, disciplined, do the things you have to do in preparations, so that you can go out and play winning football? That means everyone has to bring their A game. A combination of all those individuals being able to do that is what creates the identity of the team. That's our goal. That's what we want to do as a team. Nothing else matters. There are no external factors that matter at all, to any player on our team. It's all about how they perform in this game. It's not what they did last year. It's not about their girlfriend. It's not about anything but playing this game. Playing your game, A game, preparing for this game, focusing on each play of this game. If you can do that, then none of those other things matter. None of means anything unless you make it mean something. The goal has always been to focus on the things that we can control. The things we can control are how we play, how we perform and how we prepare. The team has done a really good job of working to get themselves ready for the season. You never know for sure until you go out and play, who are the real guys who can go out and compete and do the job and play with maturity and play winning football.
"We don't really have any updates on personnel injuries. Tana Patrick and Wilson Love will be limited today, but it should be just for today, and there should be no problem from that point on.
"If I were you, I wouldn't make too much of the depth chart that we released because it's a chore for me to do that. It really is. I know it's important to you, so we wanted to provide you something, but don't ask me questions about, `Well, why'd you play this guy instead of that guy?' Because I'm telling you now, it's for you. The depth chart is for you. It's not really for our team. It's just for you, so you can have it, you can write about it, you can talk about it. Don't ask me, `Why did you put in this guy instead of that guy?' You made me do a depth chart when I didn't want to do one, so that's how I'm going to answer it.
"I think we are playing a very good team. A team that has a very good tradition, a lot of 10-win seasons. They have a great coach, the No. 1 winning coach actively in college football. They know how to win, and they're a team that always plays really hard, lots of toughness, lots of effort, really sort of old-fashioned when it comes to principles and values of competitive character that they play with. They have six starters back on offense, nine on defense. Logan Thomas is an exceptionally talented quarterback who is really capable of taking over a game as a passer or as a runner. He's a big guy who's very athletic. Their defense was very good last year, and with nine starters coming back, I'm sure that they will be even better. And what we've seen in their spring game, they were actually dominant at times, their first defensive team. This is also a team that has always made plays on special teams, and that's definitely a part of the game that we have to pay attention to detail with, and not allow them to create any advantage for themselves, and maybe be able to make an advantage for ourselves. They've got good specialists returning who have been productive, so this is a good all-around team, and a very challenging game for our guys."