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Jumbo Package: Saban praises team’s “spirit” heading into the opener

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Mississippi v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Nick Saban has been super positive about the attitude of his team this season, and I’m not sure if it’s a reason to be excited or terrified.

“I like the spirit of our team,” he said. “I think our guys have had a lot of uncertainty, a lot to overcome. They worked hard in practice for a long time, not even knowing whether they were going to play. But the attitude has been great and they’ve done a great job.

“I told them early on: there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty. There’s going to be a lot of things that happen that have never happened before. But the teams that manage this uncertainty are going to be the ones that come out the best on the other end.

“I think they kind of bought into that. They’ve done extremely well. I think they have something to prove. I don’t think we were real happy with the way things sort of transpired for us a year ago. Hopefully that will inspire us and be a motivating factor for us this year.”

We know that Saban speaks to his team through the media, and perception has always been that he chews them when he thinks they’re strong and encourages them if they are working hard but not quite there. It’s hard to believe that this team isn’t ready to roll though, particularly with the number of upperclassmen on both sides of the football. Guess we will find out on Saturday, eh?

Dylan Moses is as impressed with Will Anderson as anyone.

Will Anderson has received the most preseason buzz and was listed as the first-team Jack (outside) linebacker. All-American middle linebacker Dylan Moses is certainly impressed with Anderson.

“He actually reminds me of myself when he first came in just with being already physically ready to be on the college level,” Moses said Monday. “So I expect great things from him this year.”

I know that everyone is dying to see Bryce Young, but after all of the hype around Anderson, I’m more excited to see him.

Bill Connelly is bullish on the Tide, but we need to talk about this, Bill.

Alabama lost to both of its primary rivals and finished eighth in the AP poll, its lowest placement since 2010 (the previous time one of these two rivals won the national title). Was this the turning point then? Is the Saban dynasty finally crumbling to the ground?

Yeah, right. SEC West play is scheduled to begin on Sept. 26, and guess who’s projected to top the division pretty comfortably. As Saban finally gets his way, temporarily, on larger conference schedules, his team could also have its way once more in division play.

Emphasis mine, and that is just wrong. Hate mail sent.

Alex Scarbrough did a little historical on Saban’s first head coaching job.

Saban shouted as he entered the auditorium.

“Sit up! Anybody who has a soft neck, you won’t play here!”

Saban was neither terribly long-winded nor inspirational as he addressed the team for the first time. You could barely call it a speech, in fact. But Dan Vargo, a defensive back, said the feeling of respect Saban demanded was immediate. Vargo looked around the room and mouthed to his teammates, “Wow.”

It wasn’t the kind of introduction that left it open for questions at the end, but that didn’t stop one well-fed offensive lineman from piping up.

“Hey, Coach,” the lineman asked, “when are we going to get our [financial aid] checks?”

Saban erupted.

“What the hell are you asking about these checks?!” he said. “You need to worry about your ass getting in shape!”

This is a great read.

Saban has definitely softened up a bit since then.

Many of those on set were Alabama fans, but this wasn’t the time nor place to ask the coach for a picture of autograph.

“He’s the star of the show,” Foster told AL.com on Monday. “He comes in and does his thing. When they’re not using him for a shot, he’s over there doing coach stuff. Whatever it is coaches do.

“When there is an established star, you’re a background person. It’s kind of the old ‘don’t look him in the eye, don’t speak unless spoken to,’ you know?’”

Saban was very cordial during the filming, but it says he has a body double. Why would he need a body double for that commercial? Weird. Video is in there, I didn’t see a need to embed.

Alabama is one of 16 universities participating in a mental health event in Tyler Hilinski’s honor.

Hilinski’s Hope Foundation (H3H), founded by Mark and Kym Hilinski to honor the legacy of their son Tyler, today announced that 16 schools are slated to participate in the inaugural #3DAY and College Football Mental Health Awareness Week. The week will focus on a series of mental health initiatives, kicking off with #3DAY on October 3, which will honor Tyler, those lost, and those suffering, and will culminate with World Mental Health Day on October 10.

To date 16 schools from around the country are participating including: Brigham Young University, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Clemson University, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, North Dakota State University, Sacramento State, Texas A&M, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, University of Mississippi, University of Missouri, University of South Carolina, University of South Florida, University of Tennessee, and Vanderbilt.

Great stuff.

Last, how many Saints does it take to not tackle Josh Jacobs?

What a beast. Jacobs has more rushing yards through his first 15 games than any RB in Raiders history, to include Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson. Kid is going places.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.