Alabama is closing in on the finale of their 2023 spring practice session, which means the annual spring scrimmage is coming up, where fans and coaches will finally get a first look at this coming fall’s team. For head coach Nick Saban, it’s an opportunity to find winning players. He knows the team is far from a finished product at this point in the offseason, but just from an individual standpoint, he wants to see guys play what he calls “winning football.”
At his final press conference ahead of the A-Day scrimmage, Saban simply asked for his guys to excel in their positions and worry about doing their own job.
“The emphasis to the players is, I don’t care what team you’re on. Can you play winning football at your position? We need guys who can play winning football at their position. It doesn’t matter what team you’re on. First team, second team, whatever.”
Saban won’t just be watching the first team. This is a great opportunity for a younger player or someone lower on the depth chart to really boost their stock if they can just come in and take care of their business. Per Saban, doing your job at your spot on the field is the key to getting more snaps.
“That’s what’s going to help us be successful as a team and that’s what going to help you create value for yourself if you can go out there and play winning football and impress people by the way you compete and the way you play and the way you can go out there and be accountable to do your job. This is what everybody should be focusing on. Shouldn’t be looking over their shoulder at anything else that might be happening in the world. Focus on what you’re doing and what you have to do to play winning football. That’s kind of what we need our players to do.”
Strong statement from Coach Saban but as always, a good lesson too. In this type of setting, there’s game-like live action, but you have the luxury of not really needing to care about the score all that much since you’re just trying to experiment.
Without the real pressure of an actual game, guys can focus on nothing more than playing their position and doing what the game plan calls for. It should be an environment where those backups can thrive.
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