HIGHLIGHTS: Saban discusses Mississippi State, select players and more

HIGHLIGHTS: Saban discusses Mississippi State, select players and more

CW / Jake Stevens

Alabama coach Nick Saban addressed the media Monday for the first time since returning from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after defeating LSU, 10-0, over the weekend. The Crimson Tide remains on top of the rankings and hosts Mississippi State on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium at 11 a.m.


  • Despite the victory over LSU, Saban said, “the biggest thing is we can’t have any kind of relief syndrome after a big, emotional game, especially when you have a really good team coming up and a new challenge that we all need to respond to.”
  • On being able finally host a game after having not for almost three weeks: “We’re excited to be back home and playing this game here at Bryant-Denny Stadium.”
  • Saban thinks Mississippi State is playing its best football right now. It recently just beat Texas A&M, 35-28. The Aggies were No.4 at the time, while the Bulldogs were unranked.
  • On how special teams performed against LSU: “We missed a field goal, but kickoff coverage and kickoff return are two areas that we need to do a little better job in.”
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick played at safety for the first time against LSU, filling in for Eddie Jackson who is out for the rest of the season after fracturing his leg. Saban thought Fitzpatrick did a good job and made the right adjustments when needed. The coaching staff is pleased.
  • Saban compared linebacker Reuben Foster to C.J. Mosley, who played at Alabama from 2010-13 and then joined the Baltimore Ravens. Saban said, “Reuben plays well whether we’re playing against a direct run team or a spread team.”
  • As for defensive back Tony Brown, who faced a NCAA suspension earlier this season, Saban said he did a good job against LSU, “just have to work on his confidence and his consistency in what he’s doing.” Also, “he’s done well in school, kind of getting things right on and off the field, and we’re happy with the progress he’s made.”

Other important notes:

  • Linebacker Ryan Anderson and punter JK Scott were selected as SEC Players of the Week.
  • The Crimson Tide’s defense was chosen as the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week. It’s the second time a team has been awarded the weekly individual honor since 2004.
  • The Alabama-Chattanooga game’s kick off time was announced. It’s set for 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 and will air on ESPN2 or ESPNU.

A little something extra from Saban

Saban told a personal story from his time as a NFL defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns from 1991-94: 

“When I was in Cleveland and we are getting ready for the draft, we got this great idea that we were going to hire this psychological guy to come in and give these guys a TAP test for their psychological disposition. The nine best defensive players in the draft that year had D TAPS. I looked at the guy and we said what are we hiring these guys to do? We want them to be aggressive, we want them to be competitive, not in the real world but at least on the football field. These characteristics are important in defensive players. We’re evaluating these guys as to what they’re like on Sundays, which may not be the same. 

"We want a guy that’s going to hit a guy that weighs 250 pounds running downhill as hard as he can hit him. Let me figure out what is a D TAP, a good thing or a bad thing."

Player interviews:

Running back Damien Harris

Offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman

Defensive back Marlon Humphrey

Linebacker Ryan Anderson

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