Nick Saban Talks Quarterback Battle, West Virginia Memories In Weekly Monday Press Conference [VIDEO]
Nick Saban unofficially began Alabama's 2014 season Monday at his first weekly game week press conference of the year, leading into Saturday's opener against West Virginia in Atlanta.
Here are three quick hits about what he discussed:
1. Despite the depth chart being unveiled just moments before he took the podium, Saban has yet to name a starter and won't until "later this week." Still, Saban said there is no guarantee both Blake Sims and Jake Coker will take snaps against West Virginia, even if the quarterback battle is ongoing.
2. Saban, at one time, was a West Virginia fan. A native of the state, Saban grew up in nearby Fairmont, a town located 20 miles outside of Morgantown where the West Virginia University campus is located.
"I still have great memories of home," Saban said. "I have great memories of the people and the relationships that I have at home, and I've always kind of been a Mountaineer fan."
Not only does he recall going to Mountaineer Field, but he can vividly remember watching basketball legend Jerry West playing for the Mountaineers.
But before anyone could question his allegiance, Saban jokingly reminded reporters that he knows where he is now.
"But now, I'm Alabama's coach, so I'm an Alabama fan," Saban said. "We don't really have to be concerned with any of that."
3. Sophomore linebacker Reuben Foster, a highly-coveted prospect from Auburn High School a year ago, has improved on his tackling technique to help prevent frequent neck stinger injuries that have been a recurring issue for him since his arrival last year, Saban said.
"Reuben is one of these guys that loved to duck his head when he tackled," he said. "I'm not saying he wasn't an effective tackler. That's what created a lot of problems with his stingers. We've had to, sort of, teach him how to take on blockers, how to tackle, so that he is not doing that. Now he's been able to stay healthier and he's been able to make it through scrimmages and he's not had the same issues. I think that's important because I think he can be a player who can contribute a lot to this team this year, especially with the depth situation we have at inside backer.”
Foster looks to be set to play a bigger role on defense this season as he was listed as a co-starter at both the MIKE and WILL linebacker positions held by Trey DePriest and Reggie Ragland.
Saban said there are no new injuries to report, entering Monday's afternoon practice. Tight end Kurt Freitag (toe) is the only player who won't practice.
Also, watch the player interviews from Monday.