Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Big 3: Saban targets high-octane offenses
By Alex Scarborough
Alabama coach Nick Saban took to the SEC's weekly teleconference on Wednesday morning to talk about how his team is handling the bye week. He touched on preparing for Missouri and whether today's video game offenses are a good thing.
1. 'Is this what we want football to be?' It's fair to say that Saban isn't a fan of the trend toward no-huddle, high-scoring offenses. The quick substitutions, he said, are an issue of player safety and the general attitude toward offense could threaten the spirit of the game he's coached for five decades.
"The way people are going no-huddle right now that at some point in time we should look at how fast we allow the game to go, in terms of player safety," he said. "If a team gets in the same formation group you can't substitute players. For a 14, 16, 18-play drive, and they're snapping the ball as fast as you can go and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can't get lined up. Guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt when they're not ready to play.
"It's obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense when teams are scoring 70 points and we're averaging 49.5 points per game with people who do those kinds of things, so more and more people are going to do it.
"I just think there has to be some sense of fairness, in terms of asking is this what we want football to be?"
2. Bye week priorities Saban opened up his portion of the SEC teleconference by outlining his No. 1 priority for the bye week -- getting his players healthy. Alabama had two players -- DeAndrew White and Dee Hart -- suffer season-ending knee injuries and two others went to the locker room with injuries as well.
"The most important thing to do on the bye week is to try and get some recovery out of your players," he said. "You have injuries as the year goes on. It's an opportunity for other players to develop."
3. Prepping for Missouri Under Saban, Alabama's bye week had traditionally come after playing Tennessee in the game billed as the Third Saturday in October. But this year, the open date fell at a different time, a time that could end up being convenient for a team still learning the ways of SEC newbie Missouri.
Saturday will mark Alabama's first game against Missouri in 24 years.
"Any time you have a bye week and it gives you a little extra time, especially for a new opponent, I think that's probably a good thing," he said. "It definitely kind of helps your staff get ready for the game and gives your players more time to understand what we need to do."