Nick Saban on California Bill, Alabama's punting struggles, bye weeks, defensive front
Alabama has continued to struggled a bit this season with its place-kicking, but the Crimson Tide have added a new special teams problem in 2019 — punting.
Freshman Will Reichard and Sophomore Skyler DeLong have combined to average about 35.5 yards per punt this season. Alabama coach Nick Saban addressed his concerns about his team’s punting during his press conference Wednesday, saying “It’s not been what we liked it to be.”
Saban, though, sounds like he remains confident that eventually the punters will improve, especially since there is a competition for playing time.
Stopping the run has been another area where Alabama hasn’t been as good as it normally is. The Crimson Tide are ranked eighth in the SEC with 134.8 rushing yards allowed per game.
Saban said in his press conference that the defensive line isn’t the only unit that needs to get better in order to improve the run defense. He said while the defense needs “to do a better job” it’s also about “how the players fit their gaps.”
Here’s what else Saban said during his Wednesday press conference:
- On California bill: I don’t really have much of a reaction to it. I honestly don’t know enough about the details of it, details of the NCAA and the SEC office will do. I trust what they decide, I’m worried about preparing this team.
- On two bye weeks: I don’t think the more repetitions they get, the more they learn, the more exposure to the things teams are going to do to them. It helps them development, their knowledge.
- On open date, how much does it benefit the young guys? I think that’s what you want from every player. Use the bye week… do quality control on every player and every unit… I think you want to do it with every player. Young players have more room to grow, to use the time off but you’d like to see every player do that.
- On practice this week: I wasn’t really happy with practice yesterday.
- On the offense and managing defensive reps: I think you know what kind of team you have. You have to play to your strengths. By protecting one side and taking away a strength, I don’t know how that benefits us. Do we want the ball, do we want possession? Yes we do but we aren’t going to change how we play offense because of some other part of our team.
- On endorsements, could that hurt the locker room at Alabama? It’s a hypothetical question, I have enough questions that are real things that need to be addressed… I haven’t thought about it nor do I care to comment on that.
- On Rohan Davey: He is a great competitor… made plays for us, great person. I’m not an evaluator of TV personalities but just knowing him, I think he would do really well
- On getting mad at his weight: That was an issue, I can’t deny that. It was an issue.