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Jumbo Package: Nick Saban speaks to the media ahead of MTSU game

Can Alabama reduce the amount of penalties in 2023?

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NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Kansas State at Alabama Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

To kick things off, here’s Nick Saban’s press conference from yesterday afternoon:

Saban’s key point:

Everyone wants to win and wants to be great... He wants his players to want to do all the little things it takes to become great. Essentially, the Process.

Other highlights:

  • He talked a little about Ty Simpson showing some good mental fortitude as a guy that recovers quickly from mistakes.
  • Deontae Lawson is taking on the mantle of defensive playcalling responsibilities and is a guy that is taking it on confidently and is excited to do it.
  • Eliminating penalties is something that Saban is really harping on after last season. They’re tracking penalties in practice and making it a competition between groups. He worries that focusing too hard on it doesn’t make it worse (makes sense... like telling yourself to NOT think about pink elephants). So we’ll see how it goes.

Jamil Burroughs has a new home, after running into disciplinary issues in Tuscaloosa and hitting the transfer portal this past summer. According to Gabby Urrutia from 247Sports, Burroughs has enrolled at the University of Miami and has been practicing with the Hurricanes this week.

Turns out, Miami is just the place for a guy who will get in a fight with his coaches and get kicked off the team. Who’da thought?

Offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood was waived by the Chicago Bears. But the Cleveland Browns announced on Wednesday that they had signed Leatherwood after he cleared the waiver process without being claimed.

The 17th selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, 2020 Outland Trophy winner and a former Alabama All-America, Leatherwood started every game of his rookie season for the Las Vegas Raiders. But the Raiders cut him at the end of the 2022 preseason, and he played in only four games with the Bears last season.

While I did think Leatherwood was a bit overdrafted at the time, I didn’t expect him to be a total bust and be on his third team after only two seasons. To make matters worse, it’s just been one dysfunctional franchise after another for him... And I’m not sure the Browns are an improvement.

2. Jalen Milroe is the man!

Nick Saban won’t yet say Jalen Milroe is Alabama’s starting quarterback, but he’s also not dissuading anyone from thinking that. If Milroe starts, he could shred Middle Tennessee State’s defense. Milroe possesses too much athleticism for MTSU to handle. By minimizing mistakes while compiling big plays, Milroe would ease concerns about Alabama’s quarterback situation.

However, it could be fool’s gold. We won’t have a fairer depiction of whether Milroe is up to the job until he’s tested by Texas in Week 2.

This is a pretty entertaining article from a non-Bama perspective. The writer first talks about his Week 1 overreactions from previous years, and then lists off some predictions for more overreactions this year.

I think he’s likely right about Milroe here, too. He could utterly dominate MTSU and get a lot of hype while keeping Ty Simpson on the bench... But we won’t be certain he’s the guy until the Texas game is over.

Roll Tide!