TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt are all scheduled to speak with reporters prior to Alabama’s fan day.
For Kiffin and Pruitt, this is the only time they are allowed to speak with reporters during the season. This is Pruitt’s first news conference since being introduced hired as defensive coordinator.
- Kiffin said it’s been an exciting time here. Mentions winning back-to-back SEC championships and winning the national championship last year.
- Kiffin said he feels like a student under Saban. Said he’s growing and understanding things more and more.
- Kiffin said he thinks center Ryan Kelly is going to be extremely tough to replace no matter who is there.
- Kiffin said Robert Foster is going to be a big part of the offense. Said he has a unique skillset with his speed.
- Kiffin said he isn’t thinking about facing USC, his old employer. Said he’s more focused on camp.
- Kiffin said Blake Barnett looks really good in camp so far. Said he’s bigger and stronger now.
- Kiffin said Jalen Hurts has a very special skillset. Said he’s one of the stronger kids. Said the team is really excited about his potential and future.
- Kiffin joked that he doesn’t run his Twitter account. Said Saban does.
- Kiffin said playing USC won’t be about him. Said it’ll be about the team and the players.
- Kiffin said the carries will be split among the running backs this year. Said it won’t be like last year when they had Derrick Henry carry the ball 30-plus times. Said Henry was a special player.
- Pruitt said he’s excited to be back. Said the state and the university are special to him.
- Pruitt said it’s very easy to walk into a recruit’s living room and sell the University of Alabama because he loves it so much.
- Pruitt said it’s good to see faces like Dalvin Tomlinson, Ryan Anderson and Alphonse Taylor. Those are guys he knew in recruiting during his time as Alabama’s secondary coach.
- Pruitt was a little choked up when talking about former Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, who passed away in 2013.
- Pruitt said he likes to be aggressive in pass defense. Said he wants to stay on top of opponents and not let them make explosive plays.
- In terms of pass rushing, Pruitt said it’s important to win on first and second down so that the pass rushers can be successful.
- Pruitt said this is always going to be coach Saban’s defense. Said when he went to Florida State, he installed the defense he learned during his time at Alabama. Said there have been some changes made over the last couple of years. Said he’s going to add some wrinkles.
- Saban said the players are responding well so far. Said the team is fighting through the heat and other circumstance. Said he’s ready to get in full pads.
- Saban said a lot of questions about this team will be answered in fall camp in terms of position battles and other issues.
- Saban doesn’t think there should be polls or rankings until after the fifth or sixth game of the year. Said he doesn’t know or care where Alabama is ranked nationally or in the SEC.
- Saban said the team is evolving and creating its own identity and personality.
- Saban said he isn’t displeased with where the team is at this moment. Said the team has a long way to go to get where they want to be.
- Saban said he will continue to support the SEC and NCAA transfer rules. While not mentioning Maurice Smith, Saban alluded to the situation by stating that he has always supported the rules in place when it comes to transferring.
- Saban said the transfer rules are up to the conference and the NCAA. Said Alabama doesn’t run the SEC, the SEC runs Alabama.
- Saban said Derrick Gore sprained his knee. Said he won’t be able to practice until school starts.
- Saban said a lot of the challenges facing the team come from battling complacency. Said “when you shoot for a high standard, sometimes you miss.” Said each team responds to the challenges differently.
- Saban said he wants a quarterback to win the job in practice so they don’t have to carry the competition over into the games.
- Said said he likes the wide receiver depth this team has compared to last year. Said having a lot of talented and experienced receivers is a “good problem to have.” Said he likes to have six receivers who can contribute so the team can keep the players fresh.
- Saban said players who want to transfer can still workout and use the facilities, but don’t workout with the team.
- Saban said he’s tried to talk every player who has ever wanted to transfer into staying at Alabama because he believes it is best for their futures.
- Saban said he and the team are excited about this freshmen class, but doesn’t want to put unnecessary pressure on them. Said it’s about developing and focusing on what’s important. Said he sees some guys who could make contributions to the team this year.
- Saban said he wants the young guys to focus on being the best player they can be while also thinking about how much they can develop in three years here.