Saturday, December 27, 2008

Welcome back to New Orleans Nick Saban

Posted By on Sat, Dec 27, 2008 at 9:44 PM

click to enlarge Nick Saban
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Photo by Jonathan Bachman

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Nick Saban made had his first official press conference today. The large media contingent was supposed to also get a chance to talk to a player but apparently something happened with the team plane and we got no one. Here's a transcript of the press conference for your enjoyment.

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Nick Saban "We are excited and happy to be here.  It is especially exciting given that this is the 75th Anniversary of the Sugar Bowl and the University of Alabama has the chance to be a part of that celebration.  The University of Alabama also has a great tradition as part of this event.  The Sugar Bowl has always had great games, great tradition, and great teams.  Utah is certainly a great team as well – they are undefeated.  We certainly understand what we need to do to play a great football game.  This game is about the players, what it means to them, and what they want their legacy to be as a football team.  When you have an opportunity to play in a BCS bowl game this is what your team will be remembered for.  We also have an opportunity to win 13 games, which would be only the second time that has been accomplished at the University of Alabama.  As far as players arriving is concerned, all but one player will be arriving today as expected."

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-What are your memories of the Sugar Bowl having coached in the game on two previous occasions?

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-N.S."Of course I remember the games, but I also remember the great hospitality that our teams enjoyed while we were here.  I remember what a great job the Sugar Bowl and the city of New Orleans did in putting on a first class event."

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What have you learned as a coach this year?

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N.S. "I think the biggest thing that I learned this year is that when a team makes a commitment to certain standards of excellence they can achieve.  No one really thought that much of this team in the preseason, but this team bought into togetherness, respect, trust, and what they wanted to accomplish.  That had a significant impact on our ability to be successful.  This team is a first hand example of what having the 'right stuff' attitude wise can mean to getting your goals accomplished."

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Can you describe the importance of playing in a BCS game?

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N.S. "I think it is a great opportunity for the players and how they want to finish the season and what they want their legacy to be.  It is a great opportunity for them to play in a great venue against a great team.  It is really about what they want to accomplish and it is about them."

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What are your concerns given the long break between games?

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N.S. "It is always a concern when you have this kind of a break – it is a concern even when you have just one week off with a bye.  The important thing is that we had good practices at home and we will need to have good practices here.  Because we played in the SEC Championship, we only had about nine or ten days off."

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