TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban spoke to reporters on Wednesday in his final news conference before Christmas break. Alabama will have an early practice on Thursday before leaving for the break.
The team will report back to Tuscaloosa and travel to Atlanta on Dec. 26 for the Peach Bowl semifinal vs. Washington.
Highlights from Saban’s time at the podium:
- I’d like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.
- Practice went well today. Yesterday was a little sloppy. That’s sometimes the case when you practice for seven days straight. We do that so they can have a little more time off.
- We have a high standard for what we want to accomplish going forward.
- Every time I stand up here I try to convince everybody of how good a team Washington is. This is going to be a tough challenge for us.
- From an injury standpoint, everybody was back at practice today.
- The slot cornerback (star) has become an every down position because of the types of offenses we face.
- Washington quarterback Jake Browning is a really good athlete. He can run. He’s accurate throwing the ball. He gets the ball out of his hand quickly. He’s going to be one of the best quarterbacks we’ve faced this year.
- I’m really excited and proud for all of our former players who made the Pro Bowl in the NFL.
- Maturity is very important to play as a young player. Some positions are easy to play as a young guy. You have to be a competitor and understand what it takes to play well.
- The College Football Playoff has diminished the importance of the rest of the bowl games. You can’t blame the players for sitting out bowl games because we don’t value them. All people care about is the playoff.
- Joshua Jacobs has had a role at running back that has been critical to the success of our team. He’s stepped in well when Bo Scarbrough or Damien Harris have been hurt. We’re hoping to have all three of those guys healthy.
- The film is the film. When you’re playing a team that’s not a common opponent, you have to do more research. You’re teaching the players from scratch and you’re learning it from scratch.
- ArDarius Stewart has a pulled muscle. He’s not working at quarterback.