HOOVER, Ala. - The Crimson Tide faithful were camped out early waiting for their team to arrive.
Alabama fans were in the lobby around 6 a.m. and the reception that the tide received was loud enough to wake up the people staying on the top floor of The Wynfrey Hotel.
Alabama is looking to bounce back this season after losing to Clemson in the national championship game. So, what is Nick Saban, a coach that has won six national titles, doing to get over a loss like that one?
“I don’t know that you ever get over things like that. I think you obviously look at the game several times and tried to analyze the things that didn’t go well. I think more about the games that we’ve lost. Whether it’s SEC Championship Games that we’ve lost, playoff games that we’ve lost, games that we’ve lost in the national championship game, things that we could’ve done differently," said Saban.
“I think it was good that we lost because what can you learn it you keep winning? You can’t learn as much you know and so being that we lost I think it was a good experience for our team entirely because a lot of us have come back. It’s something that you don’t take for granted now," said Alabama Junior Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Both Nick Saban and Tua Tagovailoa have been banged up the last 365 days. Tua has dealt with ankle and knee injuries, the most recent one being a tight hamstring that kept him out of the Manning Passing Academy in late June. As for Coach Saban, he had a successful hip replacement surgery in April. Here’s how both of them are doing:
“I actually have to produce a doctor’s excuse note to hit out of the sand trap. The guys that I play against and I’ve really been trying to make a good game on the first tee so I really don’t want to say that I’m 100%, but I really am," said Saban.
“Whether I feel the need to do it or I don’t I mean I’ve been getting into the training room more than I think I could ever imagine and I’m not even hurt so the times that I was hurt I was in there a lot but I’m in there more," said Tagovailoa.
It's no secret that each year Alabama has one of the top defensive teams in the country. Multiple NFL players and have worn the Crimson Tide uniform and Dylan Moses hopes to be the next man up. The junior linebacker was asked what he thinks makes up a signature Alabama defense.
“What Coach Saban says all the time, if guys come in and do what they’re supposed to do and we win games it brings a lot of attention towards the team and that will bring you know awards and all that and it will come on its own especially if we’re just doing what we’re supposed to do and we’re the top-ranked team in the country and we do what we’re supposed to do like it’s going to happen regardless so that’s why he’s saying you have to be a team player," said Moses.
Alabama's season opener is against the Duke Blue Devils on August 31 at 2:30 p.m. in Tuscaloosa.