MOBILE, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban spoke to reporters at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday.
Among other things, Saban discussed the hiring of Mike Locksley as an offensive coach and the future of the coaching staff, why former Alabama and current Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones is such a special player, former Tide offensive coordinator and current Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin and much more.
Here are some of the highlights from Saban’s time with reporters as well as video.
- On the Senior Bowl and Alabama’s players in the game: I think the Senior Bowl is a great opportunity for our players, especially being in our state here in Mobile. A lot of fans have a lot of interest in what our players do in this game. I think the guys who choose not to play – Reuben (Foster) is actually a little bit hurt (hand), Tim Williams is actually a little bit hurt (elbow), Jonathan Allen was a little bit hurt at the end of the season I think they all had good reason not to play in the game. We’re happy that the four guys that are here are getting an opportunity to show what they can do. Hopefully they can improve people’s opinion about what they do.
- On O.J. Howard potentially being a first-round pick: I can’t really make a comment on that. I think it’s all speculation. I don’t really know the other people in the draft at every position. They’re two things that happen in the draft. You have a draft grade, and then there’s where you get drafted based on supply and demand, what people need and what people are looking for. Some positions have sort of a greater value than others. There are a lot of factors that go into where somebody gets picked. I think we should actually think a lot less about where you get picked and a lot more about what you do after you get picked in terms of what kind of career that you develop for yourself.
- On Mike Locksley and his role on the staff: Mike Locksley is a coach on our staff right now. We’re really happy to have him. When we get all the changes that we’re going to make on the staff worked out, we’ll make an announcement about who’s going to coach what and where.
- On if he foresees any other coaching staff changes: Not really. I mean I never know what other guys are going to do. I’m happy with the staff that we have. They’ve done a really good job for us. We were pleased with Mario (Cristobal) and the job that he did for us. Mike Locksley is a great addition to our staff. We’re pleased with the people that we have, but you never know what their goals and aspirations are when recruiting is over.
- On Julio Jones and the Super Bowl: I think Julio is a great player. He’s got great character, great attitude and is a great competitor. Probably one of my favorite guys that I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach in how he impacted the game as well as his teammates. I’m so happy for him that he had a fantastic game. I’m happy for the Falcons that they have an opportunity to be in the Super Bowl. I’m hoping Julio does a great job, but we also got some players on New England’s team. A coach that’s a good friend. It’s kind of hard for me to pick sides, but I just love to see our players do extremely well. Julio’s had a great year, and obviously had a great game. Hopefully he’ll have a lot of luck in the Super Bowl as well.
- On if Lane Kiffin will have success as a head coach: Really not for me to say. It’s great that Lane has an opportunity to be a head coach again. He certainly did a good job for us in the time that he was with us. We’re hopeful that he has great success there.
Watch Saban’s full press conference below: