Nick Saban has never been one to mince his words.
The 14th-year Alabama coach took to the lectern after his team’s practice Wednesday ahead of its Week 2 matchup with FCS school Mercer and voiced his displeasure with his team’s performance both during the Crimson Tide’s 44-13 win over Miami and in practice in the subsequent days.
Among the principal characteristics missing from practice were intensity and preparation Saban said, both of which the seven-time national champion chalked up to external factors.
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“We have every external factor in the world that’s affecting our ability to maintain intensity and play the way we need to play and practice the way we need to practice to improve,” Saban said.
“The scoreboard affects us. Who we’re playing affects us. The heat affects us. The media and what you guys write every day affects us. So, to me, we have to prove we can play and maintain intensity … and do things the way we’re supposed to do it.”
Saban then proceeded to question his team’s ability to respond to these critiicisms and hoped that a leader on the team would emerge who would remedy the situation.
“Do people care enough to understand what we have to do to maintain our intensity for 60 minutes in the game, to improve as a team, to do the things that we need to do to improve as a team?” he said.
This is far from the first time Saban has taken his team to task after what he perceived to be poor performances either in practice or in a game, nor is it the first time Saban hid his displeasure with the status quo and general goings on in the world, but if there’s one thing that’s not in doubt, it’s that the 70-year old coach isn’t letting his team get complacent ahead of what should likely be an easy win for the Crimson Tide.
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