Players To Players Deliver Message
Alabama Coach Nick Saban and his assistants have been preaching it since the end of the 2012 national championship season, trying to drill it into the heads of the 2013 team that, as Saban repeated Wednesday, "This is a different team. This is a new team. They've got to create their own identity by what they do and how they play. Their own personality. Their own chemistry."
Saban addressed the team following Bama's 31-6 win over Colorado State Saturday night, and then the head coach was off to other duties – a press conference, meeting with prospects, finding Miss Terry to get a ride home (well, probably not that last).
But after Saban left the locker room, that didn't mean the talking was over.
Senior linebacker C.J. Mosley revealed that "We were pretty upset with the game we had, especially with the way we won. We felt we didn't dominate. After Coach Saban's little speed, me, AJ (McCarron), Vinnie (Sunseri) – we kind of said how we really feel.
"I started it off because I was pretty upset, especially with the defense. The things we gave up were mental errors, just little things, just fundamental errors, so I felt like we're about to play Ole Miss the next week and about to start getting into SEC play.
"Those little things will get us beat bad, get us embarrassed, so we've got to make sure everyone's doing his job.
AJ and Finnie kind of fed off what I said, just saying we've got to step it up, we've got to know what it takes to win these types of games that are coming up."
Mosley said the young guys better have gotten the message. "If not, they won't be on the field."
He also said he thinks those young players, notably defensive backs, have "responded well in practice the last few days. They're freshmen with a great opportunity. I'm looking forward to seeing them on the field."
Mosley said "one of the good things about our young guys, we don't have to yell at them. They want to learn, they want to be great, they want to help this team out."
Saban was pleased with the players' meeting.
"That's what leadership is," said the coach. "I think you have leadership that's supposed to reinforce the principles and values of the organization. When people don't buy in and do those things and make the commitments that they need to make, I think leadership, guys on the team, peer intervention, peer pressure, whatever you want to call it, is something that every good team has.
"Because I don't think everyone is capable of doing the right thing the right way the right time all the time. There are some people that are and there're some people that aren't. There're some people that need to be led. You know. Sheep need to have a dog get them home to the barn at night. There're all kinds of things.
"Well, leadership I think is important to affecting a lot of those people. We have a lot of good guys on our team. A lot of good guys that have been here, played a lot of good football and really buy in. Then we have some guys that may not buy in for whatever reason. Whether it's about them. Whether they're not playing. Whether they're frustrated. Whatever. Maybe they're not motivated. Whatever it is."
It's important, Saban said, that the players who have bought in affect the ones who have not, not the other way around.
Alabama players responded to the post-Colorado State meeting.
Running back Jalston Fowler said, "Players listen to other players. Some of them need to buy into what is being said. Most of them buy in, but you have to be the right person. You have to be somebody that everybody looks up to and listens to.
"I think everybody is starting to buy in."
Defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan said, "It definitely sticks more when you hear it from an actual player. We understand the coaches only want the best for us, but at the same time but as players we're actually out there and know our struggles. So it hits home more from hearing it from players."
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BamaMagYesterday at 5:19 PM