Nick Saban talks off week plans, Bama NFL standouts at QB club

Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks with Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) before the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Alabama and Florida, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Atlanta.(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Nick Saban started the Alabama Crimson Tide’s off week by visiting the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in Birmingham to speak to the members there. The Tide are 8-0 for the seventh time under Saban, but he still sees places where the number one team in the country can improve.

“We want to clearly define the things we want to do better on offense, defense and special teams, and what players themselves need to do individually to improve,” Saban said. “Our season will be defined by how we finish the season and I think the thing that’s going to affect that the most is how do the players improve.”

Even though Alabama’s next game is LSU in two weeks, Saban said that isn’t the primary focus during a bye week.

“We spend time on the rest of the season this week,” he said. “I know the LSU game is a big game. It always is, and we certainly have a tremendous amount of respect for the way they’re playing now…but we’re not going to start our focus on them today or tomorrow. The players seem to do well when they’re in a rhythm or the routine in how they get ready for a game. We don’t usually change that relative to having a bye week.”

Saban was also asked about the performance of many former players in the NFL Sunday, including Eddie Jackson’s record two defensive touchdowns of 75-plus yards.

“That’s the kind of plays Eddie always seems to make and I was really, really happy for him,” Saban said. “O.J. (Howard) and some other guys and Dont’e (Hightower) played well, I guess.

“For us to have the graduation rate that we have, which is one of the highest in the country, is something that’s really important to us, just as important as that fact that we have the most guys playing in the NFL and when those guys do well, I think that’s something that a lot of young people want to have a chance to aspire to. I think it’s all a benefit.”

To hear all of Saban’s comments, including updates on Da’Shaun Hand and the use of running backs in different formations, check out the video at the top of the page.

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