Alabama notes: Saban again calls for fans to stay for entire game

Anniston StarOctober 24, 2013 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- During his weekly radio show, Alabama coach Nick Saban continued to speak out against fans and students who leave games early.

Saban feels that it makes the entire organization look bad when the stands are empty with time left on the clock. He wants fans to stay for 60 minutes since the players have to play for 60 minutes.

"My sense of it is, I always say the fans are apart of the team," Saban said Thursday. "Everybody else should have the same sort of commitment. You don't have to do the work all week, you don't have to practice, you don't have to come in at 7 in the morning and leave at 11 at night, you don't have to do any of that stuff.

"All you have to do is come to the game, drink beer, do whatever you want, party in the parking lot. I've never been at a tailgate in my life. All I'm asking is that you just come and have fun and stay for the whole game."

Cornerbacks

Alabama's second cornerback spot continues to be a revolving door due to injuries and poor performance.

Saban said Bradley Sylve (high ankle sprain), who started the past two games, hasn't been able to practice much. Saban also said he liked the way Sylve and Deion Belue played together at the cornerback spots, but Sylve won't be able to play on Saturday.

"Cyrus Jones is probably playing the best of all those guys right now and he'll probably end up starting in the game with Deion (Belue)," Saban said. "Deion has been nicked up all year and in and out of the lineup. But I think those two guys can do a really good job for us."

Saban said true freshmen corners Eddie Jackson and Maurice Smith are doing well, but "it's still a little bit of a work in progress with these guys."

"The thing about the freshmen that I think people have a hard time understanding, and I don't even think the freshmen understand it, is that none of these guys know what it takes from an intensity standpoint and a mental focus standpoint week in and week out to prepare for a game and to be able to go out and execute in game," Saban said.

Next year's quarterback

Blake Sims has filled the role of backup quarterback and has been the only signal caller not named AJ McCarron to touch the field this season.

Saban was asked if it is safe to assume that Sims will be the heir apparent to McCarron next season.

"No, not at all," Saban said.

Saban said the three freshmen quarterbacks -- Cooper Bateman, Luke Del Rio and Parker McLeod -- all have a chance to be good players, but "may not be ready to play" and that the team is developing them now.

Saban said all the quarterbacks who'll be on the roster next season will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job.

Burning a redshirt

Alabama has counted on a lot of freshman to make plays, particular on defense. With injuries and other issues leaving the Tide with a lack of depth, the team may have to burn true freshman defensive lineman Dee Liner's redshirt.

Liner tweeted before the season that he was going to redshirt, but plans have changed.

"We weren't going to play Dee Liner and we've been coaching him and trying to develop him," Saban said. "We had him ready to play last week, but we didn't put him in the game. We're probably going to have to play him this week."

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