"I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety," Saban said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference. "The team gets in the same formation group. You can't substitute defensive players. You go on a 14-, 16- or 18-play drive and they're snapping the ball as fast as you can go, and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can't even get lined up. That's when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt ... when they're not ready to play. I think that's something that can be looked at.
Asked Wednesday about Saban's comments, Meyer's response wasn't surprising. Saban is a defensive coach with an NFL background. Meyer is an offensive coach who has spent his entire career at the college level. So he likes not just the no-huddle, but the variety that college offenses bring to the game. "I think it's great for the game," Meyer said. "There are so many different personalities in college football. And I've had guys on my staff who have played in the pros or coached in the pros, and the one thing about NFL football – I'm not an expert on it – but you don't see the multitude of offenses that you see in college. "I love it, because I love watching it."
"I think we’re going to get hurt because they’re so big and physical. Obviously I’m for it. I think it’s an equalizer and it’s something I believe in. I have great respect for Nick and what he says but of course we’re going to be on opposite sides of this debate."
Meanwhile Sumlin was asked about Saban’s comments during his stint on the SEC call. "Everybody is just playing by the rules right now," Sumlin simply responded. "It’s in the rule book."
Are there harder hits on a kickoff return or interception return? "For me, I’d have to say interception," Square said. "Guys put their head on a swivel on a kick return for the most part, but for the most part on an interception, you’ve got guys who aren’t really used to tackling guys, so I guess the conditions are a little bit bigger. You’ve got O-linemen trying to tackle a defensive back, and that’s just not what they do."
"It’s a big difference between game film and TV," Johnson said. "Our view is more up close, more in there than the TV version. The TV version, sometimes they get up close, but it’s far off. You really can’t tell certain things that we look at. "Just watching film, that’s why you can tell if the guard is leaning this way or that way. So just watching film, it makes a big difference."
Sophomore return specialist and receiver Christion Jones, who returned the school's first kickoff for a touchdown since Sept. 2010 on Saturday, said the coverage teams have done a good job thus far. Freshmen like Tyler Hayes, Landon Collins and Cyrus Jones have all contributed. "The young guys are stepping up big time, making plays, making blocks, making tackles," Christion Jones said. "Our special teams is doing a great job all around. I just think we gotta hold to buying in on what we're going to do each time and trust in our unit."
Alabama coach Nick Saban said his staff makes allowances for late kickoffs with extra meetings or fame-day activities for the players. "Through the years, we've played a lot of night games, so we have a little bit different program to try to keep our players a little bit active the day of the game (while) trying to keep their focus where it needs to be," he said. "So we have an extra meeting and we do a team walk. But nobody knows for sure if what you do works unless your team goes out and plays well."
Brent Calloway still is working with the tight ends/H-backs. We’re not clear what he did in practice Tuesday, if anything. There has been speculation that Calloway might move back to running back, a former position, in the wake of season-ending knee injuries to Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart.
"There's been plenty of times that we've shown when we do things with the right energy level, we do it pretty well. That hasn't been as consistent as we would like it to be," said Saban.
"Of all the guys that I've ever had that help me, and there's a bunch of good ones, I don't know anybody that was more effective as a helper," the Alabama coach said. "I don't even know what his title was, but he worked with me. I've never had anybody do a better job at what they did than he did there for us. "He worked extremely hard. I couldn't have done what I did to coach the secondary and be the coordinator without him. He had a tremendous knack for personnel evaluation, which I think Bill Belichick saw. Instead of moving him in the coaching realm, which I think he would have been really good at, he moved him into personnel. He moved up very rapidly in that. I think he's one of the best personnel people in the game."
Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain, the former Alabama offensive coordinator, recruited Geno Smith four years ago out of Miami (Fla.) Miramar High. The Crimson Tide instead signed in-state prospect AJ McCarron, who led Alabama to the crystal football last season. But McElwain liked Smith. "The guy is a pro-style quarterback," McElwain said. "He isn’t Michael Vick. What I said in my evaluation is….he will sit in the pocket. He will sit on his back foot. He will throw with people in his face."