Saban Pleased And Proud In Win

Alabama Coach Nick Saban wasn't too much aware of the atmosphere surrounding his first game as head coach of the Crimson Tide, but he was aware of what he wanted to see from his Bama football team. "It's not who you play; it's how you play them," he said. "We're creating an identity as a team by how we perform and how we play."



Alabama Coach Nick Saban said following Alabama's 52-6 win over Western Carolina that "We try to use a lot of talk, a lot of effort, and discipline and team chemistry. By using intensity and intelligence we can combine those to execute a winning football team."

Saban said, "I was pleased and proud of the way we went out on the field tonight. Identity was a focal point of what we were going to try to accomplish in terms of being aggressive and using a relentless kind of competitive style. We really tried to dominate in the second half and for the most part I think we came in and did that. There are still a lot of things we need to improve on, some things we were a little sloppy on, but we have the right attitude about trying to work on and improve on it."

The coach said he was not focused on the hoopla of 92,138 fans for his first game as coach of the Crimson Tide. "I wasn't really focused on the atmosphere," he said. "I was focused on the game and the next play."

He said the "Walk of Champions" reception by fans lining the walk from the team buses to the locker room impressed him. "I was pleased with the enthusiasm the fans demonstrated for our team," he said. "I think the passion they had makes us excited about being here and being a part of the Alabama tradition. The people here make this a special place and we want to give them a special program."

He said he would not feel relief from the season-opening victory. Saban said, "We have a 24-hour rule at The University of Alabama, and that rule is you can enjoy the win for 24 hours, but then you have got to move on and get ready for the next chance. And the same if you lose."

The coach said, "We need to improve a lot. We're going to play a very good footb all team next week in Vanderbilt."

Saban said he thought the kickoff team had been "an asset" for Bama, giving the Tide good field position. He said the new kickoff rule means there has to be a good specialist, but also that a team must have a good cover team and a good return team.

He said he was pleased Bama had no turnovers. "But we need to get more turnovers," he said.

Saban had praise for freshman tailback Terry Grant, and said he was also pleased with the play of the other tailbacks. He said Grant had shown up well in almost every opportunity he has had in practice.

He also made particular mention of true freshman Rolando McClain at middle linebacker handling the duties of defensive play-caller.

Saban said he thought all the quaerterbacks played well. "They took what the defense gave them," he said. "We had a few inaccurate throws, but not many. And the offensive line did a good job." The players around the quarterback make the quarterback better when they play well, Saban has pointed out, and he indicated that was the case in the Western Carolina game.

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