SABAN: "We Need to Get Better"
"I'm a little frustrated that we can't seem to get that (consistent play) the way we'd like to get it," Saban said. "We seem to be too easily satisfied and always looking for ‘Well, we played well, so do we still have to practice hard? Do we still have to do all this stuff?'
"Well, doing all that stuff is what got you here."
We need to get better play out of everyone," he said. "When you don't succeed, not doing the little things right effects everyone's ability to do they job. Everybody needs to do a better job, including me."
On the good side: "One thing we did do was play extremely well in the red zone," Saban said. "I think that mental toughness the defense showed was probably the difference in the game actually. There were 4 stops in the red area. That's having the right mental attitude."
Alabama's Head Coach also praised freshman running back Mark Ingram, who had some key second half runs. "Mark has been a very consistent, probably consistently our best guy with the ball in his hands. Glen Coffee has played ext well for us, had fumble tonight which was a negative for him but we think they can be a productive tandem for us."
On Javier Arenas' 87-yard punt return for touchdown, Saban said "We were in punt safe. Most time in a situation like that it's a middle return. When (Arenas) started back side I thought he might be going backward instead of forward but he has a unique ability to make people miss and that was a fantastic return."
On the bad side: "You can try to tell your kids sometimes that they shouldn't do certain things like touch the stove, but sometimes they have to figure it out for themselves," Saban said. "We won. It's great to be 2-0, but certainly if we don't make progress we're not going to be the type of football team I think we can be."
Saban said the offense had "no consistency", attributing some of the struggles to the offensive line which played without its best player left tackle Andre Smith, and then lost starter Marlon Davis in the second quarter. "Some of the issues we had on the offensive line contributed (to the lack of consistency), but I still feel like we had enough players in there to be capable of doing that."
"All in all we didn't get ‘em blocked up front," he said.
Saban didn't attribute all of the offensive struggles to the line, however, noting that three of the four sacks given up by the offense were the fault of the running backs (2) or quarterback (1).
Defensively, aside from the red zone play, Saban said the Tide didn't get a lot of pressure with the four man rush, didn‘t create lot of negative plays and didn't get off the field on third down when needed.
"They stayed in regular (offensive formation) a lot which we probably didn't have enough ammo for honestly. That left all of our linebackers on the field and I thought they played well in the game. That puts a lot of responsibility. on Cory Reamer in terms of adjustments and he did a good job."
On the injury front, Saban said that offensive guard Marlon Davis pulled a hamstring ("I don't know how bad," he said) and that placekicker Leigh Tiffin and return man Javier Arenas both "got hit in the head."
"I'm hopeful that all those guys will be okay," he said. "We think Smitty (left tackle Andre Smith, who was held out of the Tulane game with a sprained knee) will be okay for this week but it's going to be day to day." Saban also said that receiver Earl Alexander would have a bone scan to "see if his foot settles down" and that if that looked good Alexander would be ready to play next week."
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