Saban: How important is it to be exceptional?

QUICK HITS: After watching film from Saturday's scrimmage, Nick Saban asked his team a series of questions, including how important it is to them to be "exceptional."

Five quick hits from Tuesday's post-practice press conference:

1. After watching film from Saturday's scrimmage, Saban said his message to the team was, "How important is it to you to be exceptional?"

Then he gave the media the PG version of what he told his players after they watched it.

"Your fate's gonna be determined by your motivation, desire, the determination that you have, what kind of team we have, teammates do we have, what kind of chemistry to we have on the team, what kind of resiliency," Saban said. "Can we overcome adversity? Can we respond when things don't go well? Are we willing to do things in preparation that you need to do to be well-prepared each time we go out and play a game? Is everybody willing to have a personal accountability and take responsibility and do things the way they need to do it so that they have the best chance to be successful?"

All that was followed by a deep breath.

2. Saban said wide receiver Amari Cooper (foot), running back Eddie Lacy (turf toe, sprained ankle/knee) and backup center Ryan Kelly (knee) were limited in practice Tuesday and are day-to-day for probably as much as a week from when they were injured.

"We'll see how that goes," he said. "It's not an exact science."

3. Saban said he thinks you can practice too long for one game.

"It may be the most important game that you ever play," he said. "Even when we played the national championship game, we only practiced so many days for that game."

Though they haven't watched any Michigan film yet, that will happen next week, Saban said he's installed bits and pieces of UM, Western Kentucky and ArkansasAlabama's first three games—into practice this week. He says it's beneficial to throw in other opponents now so that when they really delve into them on game week, "we aren't starting from square one."

This is something Saban said he has always done.

4. Wednesday is the first day of school. Saban said he wants his guys to "get a strong start academically." He said 40 players enter this semester with a 3.0 grade point average or higher.

The first day of classes also means that Saban will walk-ons to the team. Some of them will be preferred walk-ons, others will be guys who have been on the team in the past.

"It does help our numbers, it does help our preparation, it does help our scout teams to have more players out there," Saban said.

5. Running back/H-back Jalston Fowler said his favorite offensive lineman to run behind is Chance Warmack (6-3, 320).

"Chance clears out everything," he said, smiling.

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