Live Blog: SEC Media Days – Alabama and Vanderbilt
HOOVER, Ala. (WHNT) – From Alabama, Coach Nick Saban,, AJ McCarron, C.J. Mosley, and Anthony Steen will be here. From Vanderbilt, Coach James Franklin, Andre Hal, Wesley Johnson, and Jordan Matthews will be here.
This concludes WHNT News 19’s coverage of SEC Media Days 2013.
If you missed any of the coverage, check out our live blog hub here: http://whnt.com/category/sports/sec-report/
Tune in to WHNT News 19 tonight, July 18, for more coverage on SEC Media Days 2013.
The Vanderbilt players have left the media room.
Matthews after being asked about other games on the schedule: I can’t answer any questions about other games. We’re focused on Ole Miss. I don’t even know what the rest of our schedule is like.
Matthews: The hardest part about being a receiver is the mental part.
I have to be there 100 percent in practice and in the game.
Coach Franklin has ended his press conference. The student athletes from Vanderbilt will take the stages shortly.
Franklin on recruiting after the recent controversy: We’ve been very up front and honest with people. People know what we are and what we represent. People have been very supportive of us.
Franklin on dismissing the four players: I can’t get into any details.
Coach Franklin is being very tight lipped about the recent controversy at Vanderbilt.
Franklin on recent bowl wins: If we spend all our time focusing on what has happened in the past two years, we won’t achieve what we want to this year.
Franklin: We won’t name starters until a few weeks into camp.
On recruiting players of questionable character: “Not at Vanderbilt. Not in the past. Not now. Not in the future. That’s not what we’re about
A lot of “player behavior” questions for Franklin.
“Are off the field distractions a price of success?”
“When those things do pop up, they are magnified by success, but I can’t speak to any studies about that,” said Franklin.
Franklin on how recent controversies at Vanderbilt have affected him: I can’t comment on anything with ongoing investigations.
Franklin: I’ve had some other opportunities come up, but I believe in what we’re doing.
We believe in the difference we are making in kid’s lives.
Franklin on pressure in the SEC on coaches to win: I have a good perspective on coaches.
I think there is pressure all over the country on college coaches to win.
I don’t think it’s difference in the SEC. But, I think the difference is the emphasis on football in the SEC and the pride people have for their teams.
Franklin: Something that makes us unique is that we play on our own field and on our own campus. We don’t have to compete with the NFL for time or resources.
Franklin: We will turn the switch in the next few weeks and focus on Ole Miss.
Both are programs that are on the rise nationally, and I’m excited for it.
Franklin: We are the only program in the SEC that did not lose an assistant coach. That shows you how much people believe in what we’re doing.
Franklin: It’s amazing how different year three is from years one and two.
James Franklin has taken the stage.
The Alabama student athletes have left the media room. We’re expecting coach James Franklin to start soon.
McCarron on his plans after college: I want to go on to the NFL one day. I want to be a parent. I want to spread the word of God. I want to help reach out to children at an early age before they get into trouble.
McCarron on offers he has turned down: My job is playing football, not being a celebrity.
McCarron on the secret to success: Easy. Always follow your leader. Never lose sight of that. Try and do what your leader is doing.
McCarron: Coach Saban means the world to me. He’s like a second dad to me. I trust my life to him. He’s never lied to me and has always led me in the right direction.
McCarron: I’m a team first person. I think that’s where some programs fall apart.
McCarron: You can’t be a normal 22-year-old kid. Normal 22 year olds don’t feel what I feel.
You can’t go out and act a fool if you want to.
Anthony Steen: We work really hard to not disappoint Coach Saban. We want to make him happy.
McCarron: I don’t care about my personal stats and achievements. I care about having fun with my team and doing well as a team.
“How hard do you expect this year to be compared to last year?”
“I expect this year to be about the same as last year,” said quarterback AJ McCarron.
Saban’s address has ended. Alabama student athletes AJ McCarron, C.J. Mosley, and Anthony Steen will be here shortly to answer questions.
Saban: We really appreciate what you do as the media to create the interest that you create in our game, and the self-gratification and recognition that you give our players in recognizing their positive performance. Thank you very much.
Saban on non-conference games: Do I think that’s what the fans want? No, I do not.
But everyone wants to play those games for business and financial reasons.
But, it’s not just about what the coaches want.
Saban: I always enjoy when the players come back…most of the guys that play for me know that if they ever need anything, I’ll always be there for them.
Saban on Rolando McClain: I talk to Ro a lot. I talked to him about his decision to come back to the campus.
A lot of our players come back. We have had players who didn’t do well and got suspended and they came back and offered guidance to the players.
Saban: They have to understand the consequences if they don’t meet the standards set by our organization.
Saban: It’s a tremendous responsibility to try to get young people to have guidance and get them to do the right things.
You know, you could be the best professor in the world and the best teacher but someone still may cheat on a test. We can be the moral compass for our young people but we cannot always drive the ship.
Saban on disciplining team members: I think we have a responsibility to create the best atmosphere for the players to have a chance to be successful.
We have to educate our players on the consequences of good and bad behavior. Personal development is something we’ve always been in the forefront on as far as human behavior, we want people to make decisions that will make them successful.
Saban on LSU rivalry: Les has done a great job developing that program.
It’s a challenging game for us every year. They are a physical team. They are very much like us in style. It’s like two heavyweights going at each other. We always expect that it will be a tough game.
Saban: Every coach that I’ve coached with has had a real impact on how to do things, and how not to do things.
I’ve been really fortunate to have some really good mentors along the way.
Saban: Out of everything that we do, that I know, I’ve been fortunate to have great mentors and had the opportunity to learn from them. Even my high school coach has had significant impact on me as a person.
Saban said he supports having nine teams in the SEC. Nine teams, nine conference games.
Saban: I think these neutral site games from a business standpoint work out. It’s good exposure for the program.
Saban on scheduling “equal paths” to the Championship: Everybody doesn’t play everybody in the NFL. You have to rotate the schedule.
I know where Les Miles is coming from. I coached LSU. I should know better than anyone (crowd laughs.)
Saban: There can never be an equal path to the Championship. Unless everybody plays everybody, there can never be an equal path to the Championship.
Saban on being compared to Bear Bryant: I don’t think it would be fair that anyone be compared to what he was able to accomplish, the way he did it, and how he impacted other people.
Saban on Byrant’s impact: The biggest thing that impacts me is the lives he affected- the players that played for him. All the players come back and say how he affected their lives. They don’t talk about the games they won.
Saban: I think Bear Bryant is probably the greatest coach of all time in college football in terms of what his legacy is. What matters to me is the number of people he affected.
There’s a lot of Bear Bryant stories that I’ve learned a lot from. There is no way that we’ve done anything close to what he’s done.
Saban: An increased number of plays that players play the game. Is there any safety issue to that?
I don’t know the answers. I think these are the questions that need to be asked.
Saban: The rules are clearly defined and we know exactly what to expect in terms of what we have to play against and we are focused on preparing our team to play against that.
Should we allow football to be a continuous game? Is that the way the game was designed to be played? I don’t have the answer to this.
Saban on hurry-up offenses: We need to practice that way more often. You need to adjust your system so there isn’t a lot of terminology and players can make quick calls.
I think as the season went on we got better at defending it. We’re going to have to practice in the off-season to get better at it.
Saban: Just because you’re a good player doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be a good leader.
I know CJ has tried to take the bull by the horns and tried to be a good leader on our team but I think that’s going to be very critical.
Saban: Obviously we start out with a very difficult schedule. Virginia Tech is going to be a challenging game for us to open with in Atlanta. Texas A&M will be challenging, not to overlook the rest of our competition in our division and in our league.
That’s what we’re focusing on. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the competition in the SEC.
Saban: To have a leadership on your team to set an example for other is extremely important to being successful. To have people guys can look up to is essential to players making the commitment to being the best.
Saban: I know and I read and I hear how you all make predictions, what’s going to happen in the season and because of these things that I talk about, it seems almost crazy to try to predict what’s going to happen in the season and I’d like to make a note here–in the last 22 seasons, you as the media, have only picked the right team 4 times to win the SEC. (crowd laughs)
Saban: You never know when those plays come up, so we play every play like that. That’s the goal we’re working for.
Saban: There’s five or six plays that make that make a difference in a season.
Fundamentally, there were some instances where we didn’t execute. There were some where we did.
Saban: It is a challenge to reinvent your team every year. It gives players a chance to step up and fill roles to make significant contributions to the team.
Saban: We have a positive history of success when it comes to academics, GPA, and graduations rates. We want that to continue. We are committed to helping our players become successful.
Saban: Mal Moore set the table long ago for what was to come.
Saban: It’s hard to believe this is my 12th SEC Media Day. My seventh as Alabama head coach.
It’s great to take a vacation and come here to visit 1200 of my closest friends (laughs.)
Saban has taken the stage.
In 2012, the Tide reached the 10-win milestone for the fifth season straight under Saban’s leadership.
As a college football coach, Saban has a record of 154-55-1. In the past five seasons with the Crimson Tide, he has gone 61-7, including 35-5 in regular-season conference play.
Entering his seventh season in Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban has earned an impressive reputation on the national college football scene.