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Live Blog: SEC Media Days – Alabama and Vanderbilt

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Nick Saban (Photo: Ryan Cody)

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20132:03 pm

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:

Tune in to WHNT News 19 tonight, July 18, for more coverage on SEC Media Days 2013.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20132:00 pm

The Vanderbilt players have left the media room.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:57 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:48 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:46 pm

Vanderbilt Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:44 pm

Vanderbilt Defensive Back Andre Hal.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:43 pm

Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:19 pm

Coach Franklin has ended his press conference. The student athletes from Vanderbilt will take the stages shortly.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:18 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:17 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:15 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:14 pm

Franklin: We won’t name starters until a few weeks into camp.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:10 pm

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

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:09 pm

A lot of “player behavior” questions for Franklin.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:08 pm

“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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:04 pm

Franklin on how recent controversies at Vanderbilt have affected him: I can’t comment on anything with ongoing investigations.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:02 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 20131:01 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:58 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:57 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:56 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:55 pm

Franklin: It’s amazing how different year three is from years one and two.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:54 pm

James Franklin has taken the stage.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:33 pm

The Alabama student athletes have left the media room. We’re expecting coach James Franklin to start soon.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:30 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:29 pm

McCarron on offers he has turned down: My job is playing football, not being a celebrity.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:22 pm

McCarron on the secret to success: Easy. Always follow your leader. Never lose sight of that. Try and do what your leader is doing.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:17 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:16 pm

McCarron: I’m a team first person. I think that’s where some programs fall apart.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:16 pm

Anthony Steen, University of Alabama offensive lineman.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:15 pm

C.J. Mosley, University of Alabama linebacker.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:14 pm

AJ McCarron, University of Alabama quarterback.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:11 pm

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201312:10 pm

Anthony Steen: We work really hard to not disappoint Coach Saban. We want to make him happy.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:09 pm

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201312:08 pm

“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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:54 am

Saban’s address has ended. Alabama student athletes AJ McCarron, C.J. Mosley, and Anthony Steen will be here shortly to answer questions.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:54 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:53 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:51 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:51 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:49 am

Saban: They have to understand the consequences if they don’t meet the standards set by our organization.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:48 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:47 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:46 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:44 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:43 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:42 am

Saban said he supports having nine teams in the SEC. Nine teams, nine conference games.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:42 am

Saban: I think these neutral site games from a business standpoint work out. It’s good exposure for the program.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:40 am

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.)

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:39 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:38 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:38 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:38 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:36 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:36 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:34 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:33 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:32 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:31 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:29 am

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)

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:27 am

Saban: You never know when those plays come up, so we play every play like that. That’s the goal we’re working for.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:27 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:26 am

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.

Megan Hayes July 18, 201311:25 am

Coach Nick Saban, The University of Alabama

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:25 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:23 am

Saban: Mal Moore set the table long ago for what was to come.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:23 am

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.)

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:22 am

Saban has taken the stage.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:12 am

In 2012, the Tide reached the 10-win milestone for the fifth season straight under Saban’s leadership.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:06 am

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.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201311:02 am

Entering his seventh season in Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban has earned an impressive reputation on the national college football scene.

Drew Galloway July 18, 201310:41 am

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban getting out of his car!

Drew Galloway July 18, 201310:40 am

AJ McCarron (R) rocking the bow-tie. C.J. Mosley (L) looking sharp, too!