QUICK HITS: Saban doesn't take mental breaks

Alabama may have had a bye last week, but that didn't call for head coach Nick Saban to take a "mental break" of any kind. He said he may have left town, may have watched other games Saturday, but all the while he was honed in on his own team.

Five quick hits from Alabama head coach Nick Saban's Monday press conference:

1. With the bye week behind, Alabama has started preparing for a conference opponent and environment they've never seen before in SEC newbie Missouri. At his usual Monday press conference, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban addressed the importance of coming off the bye and heading into the rest of the season strong.

"This time of the season, the season matters to you," he said. "Now's sort of the time to show incentive you have to get excited about the opportunities that you've created for yourself."

2. Not even halfway through the season Alabama lost two key players in its running game—Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart—to season-ending knee injuries.

The Tide's depth in the backfield now consists of junior Eddie Lacy and two true freshmen T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake. Saban said that he's looking at linebacker Brent Calloway and quarterback Blake Sims—both of whom are former running backs—to take some reps.

"We have two guys that I think are ready to some degree to be able to give us some depth," he said.

3. Last week, cornerback Deion Belue (shoulder) and wide receiver Kevin Norwood (foot/ankle) were limited. But Saban said that all players who didn't practice last week will practice Monday.

4. Did Saban watch any of Saturday's games? Not really.

"I watched Missouri," he said. "Games were on, but I didn't really watch them closely. I saw some of Florida-LSU. I thought they competed hard and it was a tough, physical game. Turnovers on both sides had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the game."

5. Alabama might have been off last week, but Saban said that doesn't mean he took a "mental break" of any kind.

"I don't think you can ever just forget about what you're doing," he said. "I leave town for a day, but I take everything with me. You asked me if I watched games? The game was on, and I was watching our team either in practice on Thursday, or games, or recruits, or somebody that has to do with improving our situation here."

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