Nick Saban shares how Alabama’s young LBs benefited from bye week
Alabama may be the No. 1 team in the country and one of the favorites to win the national championship this season, but the Crimson Tide’s roster has some inexperienced young players just like most programs in the country.
There are two freshmen linebackers playing key roles on Alabama’s defense — Shane Lee and Christian Harris — and even though they’ve been impressive to start their college careers, they’re also still learning and adapting to the college level. And Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said that last week’s bye helped them continue to do that.
While speaking with the media at his Wednesday press conference, Saban shared what the team did to help the young players during its week off.
“Well, we do as much as we can to try to expose them to things that they have not seen before that they will see in the next three games,” Saban told the media. “We spent a little more time on this particular game. We spent a lot of time, probably an inadvertent relatively speaking amount of time, to doing walk-throughs, 11-on-11 walk-throughs so that you’re getting a multitude of reps with these guys to see things without wearing them out and running them all over the place.
“So, we’ve done extra meetings to try to increase their knowledge and ability to go out and feel confident in terms of what they’re supposed to do. But there’s nothing that you can do to teach experience. The only way to get that is to go do it, and the more experience these guys get, I think, the better they’ll play, the less errors they’ll make.”
Through five games, Lee has recorded 30 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery, while Harris has 24 tackles. Both are getting opportunities to play due to injuries to other Alabama linebackers, and the duo is capitalizing on its chances.
Fresh off a bye, the No. 1 Crimson Tide travel to take on No. 24 Texas A&M on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.