TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban spoke to reporters on Monday as the Crimson Tide opened Western Kentucky week.
Highlights from Saban’s time at the podium:
- After watching the film of the USC, we didn’t get off to the start we wanted to on either side of the ball. We have to focus on getting off to a better start.
- Once you start playing game, teams have a better opportunity of adjusting to what you do. That’s why it’s so important to improve as a player. You have to know what your weaknesses are and improve on those things.
- Most people probably don’t know that Western Kentucky is a good team. They finished in the top 25 last year. They lost their quarterback, but they have a lot of starters backs. They play physical football. This is a good team. We can’t take them for granted.
- Both quarterbacks were shaky in the game. The longer they played, the better they played. We still need to play two quarterbacks. We may do it a little differently than we did last week, but we’ll probably still play two quarterbacks in the game.
- Jalen Hurts and Blake Barnett both did some nice things as the game went on. We want to continue to develop both of those guys.
- We told Steve Sarkisian that we’d love to have him as a part of our organization. He’ll be an analyst. I’ve known him for a long time. We’ll continue to help him in his personal life. He knows there’ll be consequences if he doesn’t take care of what he needs to do in his personal life.
- We thought Damien Harris would be the best option at running back. He played well for us. Bo Scarbrough is healthy. We hope he continues to respond and plays well because we want to play two running backs.
- We are playing both of these quarterbacks “for now.” You guys don’t need to read anymore into that. It doesn’t mean we’re going to do it all season. If we’re going to have young quarterbacks, they have to play so they can develop.
- The body language of the quarterbacks was good on the sideline. Both guys were supportive of each other, and paying attention when the other guy was in.
- Shaun Dion Hamilton played well. Last year, he played in regular for us as an inside ‘backer. Reuben Foster and Reggie Ragland played in nickel. We’re trying to add Rashaan Evans to the nickel group so we can have three guys this year, but Rashaan missed almost a week of practice. He’s still not 100 percent.
- Shaun Dion Hamilton is very knowledgeable. He’s always in the right position and is very dependable.
- I might start Jalen Hurts, or I might not. We aren’t ready to make that decision right now. We’re going to do it a little differently than we did in the first week.
- “We play in a pit bull environment. We have to show we’re ready to get in the ring with the pit bulls. I’m not sure we’ve shown that yet.”
- We need both of our quarterbacks to do more if the team is going to have success.
- There is no update on Raekwon Davis or Tony Brown. “I’ll be glad to tell you when I do (get one) though. It’s not really a secret.”
- Eddie Jackson tried to tell Ronnie Harrison that we don’t trash talk. Ronnie get upset. Not necessarily at Eddie, but more about the trash talk. “When you have a teammate that cares about you, the response should be thank you. Not screw you.” Ronnie Harrison is a fine young man. That’s totally out of character for him. He’s apologized for it. I don’t think it’ll be an issue again.