Let's start off with the head man himself. The biggest point of emphasis in these early practices has been consistency and learning how to perform consistently in the face of rising temperatures and a deluge of information.
- On Darius Page - it turns out he was medically disqualified back in the spring. That means 4-6 months have passed since it happened, and we didn't find out until this past Friday. Bama has tighter lips than the Pentagon.
- On Doug Nussmeier's first year - It was a very good transition. (Edit: Duh.)
- On Kirby Smart - Kirby is good at what he does.
- On picking new members of his staff - Key takeaway, the prospective hires have to be willing to "do it the Alabama way."
- When misquoted about "some players not coming along as fast" as Saban would like, Saban killed a man's soul with his eyes.
- On how the offensive line looks after a couple practices - Saban in pleased with the offensive line. Most important part for me, in a throwaway line, Saban casually mentions that if they had to get ready for a game, they wouldn't need 28 practices to get ready at any position (emphasis mine)
Here's the video of Saban's press conference.
Moving on to Nussmeier, the first thing that jumps out is how happy he seems to be about being let off the leash and allowed to talk to reporters. Dude looks like an ex-quarterback. Also, he was very complimentary of the program as a whole as well as of Scott Cochran specifically. Not a ton of content here, but it is still worth the watch, if only because it is such a rare occurrence that he's allowed to speak.
- On the quarterbacks behind AJ - Coach speak answer. Looking for "consistency in performance."
- On the running backs behind Yeldon - mentions Jalston Fowler, fueling my hope that the Fowler Boom Train will indeed be in full force as a running back this year.
- On the receivers - a lot of returning guys. Amari focusing on small things that will "take his game to the next level."
Here's the video of Nussmeier speaking.
Finally, we have Kirby Smart. Like Nussmeier, it's worth the watch since an appearance from Smart is so rare. Smart spends half the video talking at length about hurry up offenses.
- On the hurry up no huddle, and how Bama is preparing - a lot of NFL teams have come to Tuscaloosa to learn and teach how to combat the up tempo offenses.
- On getting smaller "fast twitch" defensive linemen - those guys are a valuable addition, but we'll never move away from our general MO when recruiting most of our players.
- Interestingly, it seems that Bama compares each team's performance against previous Bama defenses rather than national rankings. I'm sure the 2011 defense allows for this to be a constant motivator.
And here's the video of Kirby's presser.