2014 ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL
Alabama Team Arrival
Friday, December 27, 2013
Head Coach Nick Saban
(Opening Statement) "I hope you all have had a happy holiday and continue to do so. It's great for us to be back in New Orleans. This is the fifth Sugar Bowl that we (Saban family) personally have been to and the third with Alabama. We've always been treated first class by the city of New Orleans, the people on the Allstate Sugar Bowl committee and all the people who make this one of the most prestigious bowl games in the country. There's no doubt our team and everybody that is involved with our team; players, coaches, our families, supporters, fans, are all excited to be back in New Orleans. We are very proud of what this team has been able to accomplish this year and they certainly deserve the opportunity to be in a BCS bowl game. Our senior class has won 60 games I think in the last five years and have had some very good success in bowl game, which the challenge for us is to continue that success for them and our team and the future of our program. We are very impressed that we have 28 players who have already graduated that will participate in this bowl game, which may be one of the most in the country of anybody. We look forward to a great matchup with the University of Oklahoma. We have a lot of respect for their program, Bob Stoops, their coaches and the great season that they have had this year. I think this game means a lot to both programs because of the rich tradition and history that both programs have. Certainly, both teams had a very successful year and I think it will be fantastic matchup and most challenging for our players because of the quality of Oklahoma's team and their program."
(On how he balances family time during Christmas with preparation for this game) "I think it's really important, Christmas is a great holiday. The holiday season is something that brings together family and the opportunity for everybody to have gratitude and appreciation for the relationships that they have and the family they have. It's important for the players to go home and be with their family. I also think it's important for the players to get a couples days where they can have some family time, then come back and get re-focused. We really took the 24th and 25th off and most of us worked yesterday or worked our way here so we can meet today and get back into preparation and get ready for today's practice."
(On the approach to preparing for Oklahoma's two different QBs) "I think that we have a lot of respect for both of their quarterbacks and what their capabilities are. I think both guys are people who will run their offense very efficiently and effectively. Both are dual threats in terms of their ability to run the ball and run the option and pull the ball on the dive and challenge you on the perimeter, as well as be able to throw the ball in the play action game or on third down when they drop back. I don't think there is a whole lot of difference in what they do, but I think their skill sets are different in terms of one guy being a big, physical runner and the other not as big, but very athletic. I think our players have to be very aware of the two styles those guys have."
Alabama LB C.J. Mosley
(On being named to the Senior Bowl) "It is an honor for me - especially since the game is in my hometown and I always watched it growing up. It will be a good experience getting to talk to all of the NFL teams and coaches and going through that NFL type of experience."
(On playing in his last game for Alabama) "The first thing we are focused on is getting the win. We have to make sure we are focused on the right things."
(On facing outside distractions during preparation) "We have to make sure that everyone is staying focused - the main thing is that when we get to practice we are doing the same things that we have done all year. We had eight practices in-a-row leading up to this and everyone had the right mindset then. We had great practices and got our bodies back in shape. We have these practices the next few days and if we practice well we will have a good chance to win."
(On Oklahoma's wide receivers) "They have got a lot of quick guys and they like to spread them out. They run a lot of bubble screens and slants to get them moving around the field. Our defensive backs will have to do a good job holding them up and containing the routes. They are a fast paced team."
(On Oklahoma's quarterbacks) "They have one that is more of a passing quarterback - he is tall and a bigger guy. The other is more of an athletic quarterback and if we contain him on the pass, he can still get out and scramble. We have to do a good job there both for the linebackers and defensive backs."
(On the break between the last game of the regular season and the Sugar Bowl) "We had our break and got to go home for Christmas, but now we are ready to get our bodies and minds in shape. We had eight great, physical practices before the break and established our plan. Now we just need to pick up where we left off in Tuscaloosa."
Alabama QB AJ McCarron
(On how he can tell that the team has moved on from the Auburn loss) "We come to practice every day, and we are out there to get better. We aren't just going through the motions."
(On what he is playing for now that they have a loss in the season) "We have a chance to win 12 games. Not a lot of teams in Alabama history can say that, not a lot of teams in the country can say that."
(On if he thinks this game is being taken seriously) "I was playing dominoes with the family last night, and I won that. I want to win everything."
(On his status with the upcoming senior bowl) "I will wait until after the bowl game to decide."