Looking back at the game

Nick Saban saw some good things from his team in the Dolphins' preseason opener. But he also knows there is still a lot of work ahead before the start of the regular season Sept. 11 against the Denver Broncos.

"There were certainly enough positive things in the game, I think, to build on in terms of what we did," Saban said Tuesday during his day-after-the-game press conference. "I think there are plenty of things to focus on that we need to improve on.

"I think the question is did we gain some of that faith, trust and confidence in what we did in some of the things in this game? I think the fact that through three quarters of the game or with 10 minutes to go in the game, we had an 11-point lead certainly says that there were some good things done."

Without really mentioning specifics, Saban also pointed several technical mistakes made by the Dolphins, mistakes he said easily can be corrected.

Saban also said all four of the quarterbacks -- A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels and Brock Berlin -- did some good things.

The Dolphins sustained several minor injuries but nothing that's likely to keep anybody out for any significant period of time, other perhaps than a shoulder injury incurred by defensive end Matt Walters.

Here are more of what Saban had to say about the preseason opener:

-- On the offensive line's difficulties in picking up the blitz: "Again, you can prepare and eliminate some of that. One of the things that they did with the Mike linebacker was they green-dogged him late on a lot of passes and the guy that was responsible for him had already kind of checked out, so he's the guy that ended up sacking A.J. (Feeley) the one time, but that's a schematic thing that could be very easily corrected. Again, it's one of those things that we really weren't prepared for, but we didn't spend a whole lot of time preparing for this team, relative to practice time and meeting time and I'm sure that, with a lot of our players, if we did that it would affect how they reacted to some of those things on the field."

-- Saban said he was planning on sticking with his original plan of having Gus Frerotte start the second preseason game because Feeley started the first.

-- Saban said he wasn't concerned about Ricky Williams gaining only 8 yards on five carries. "We've got lots of time for him to develop. I know that, when you are the kind of player that he is, not only his expectations, but everyone else's expectations is extremely high for what he can accomplish and contribute. That's something that we have to manage a little bit on all fronts, so that he gets a chance to play himself back into the kind of form that he's capable of. He's demonstrated it in practice and I'm sure as he settles down in game situations we'll see more of it in those types of situations, as well."

-- Saban reported no progress in the negotiations with unsigned first-round pick Ronnie Brown. "With this trip and this game, we really haven't made any significant progress from the time before we left," Saban said. "We would like to have all of our players here, but again, it's an opportunity for them to develop and progress and contribute to the team and gain that respect, trust and confidence with their teammates, but the business side of it is the business side of it. That's something that we are going to try to work to resolve."


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