Alabama notes: Saban talks to fans about Manziel
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Sep 13, 2013 | 2658 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TUSCALOOSA — After fielding questions about allegations on Wednesday, Alabama coach Nick Saban was surrounded by adoring fans during his weekly radio show.

Fans wanted to talk about how the Crimson Tide plan to stop Texas A&M and quarterback Johnny Manziel on Saturday.

Saban’s first question was from a fan who wanted to know how the Tide plan to put Manziel “on his butt.”

“I know the one guy gets a lot of attention, the quarterback, and rightfully so, but they have a lot of good players,” Saban said.

Arguably the highlight of the show came from a young fan. A young girl grabbed the mic and asked Saban “why do you beat everyone you play?”

When asked about how Alabama plans to handle the heat and humidity in Texas, Saban said the team has had a week of hydration tests.

He also said certain players had their diets changed over the last couple of weeks.

Six defensive backs: With Texas A&M’s ability to spread the field with four or five wide receiver sets, expect Alabama to play sixth defensive backs with just one linebacker often.

Senior C.J. Mosley will be the main linebacker as he is the team’s best coverage linebacker. Mosley said he’ll be the main ‘spy’ tracking reigning Heisman Trophy winner Manziel.

Saban said Landon Collins will be the sixth defensive back. Vinnie Sunseri played that role in last year’s game, but Saban said Collins will have to step up.

Saban also said having Collins is like having an extra linebacker in the game because of his tackling ability and willingness to help in run support.

Saban said the Aggies run nearly 20 or so more plays than other SEC teams with its uptempo attack.

Saban on Sumlin: In just his second season in College Station, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has the Aggies in the hunt for a national title. Sumlin led the Aggies to an 11-2 finish in his first year, with the team’s signature victory coming against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Sumlin has been on Saban’s radar for years. In fact, Saban tried to hire Sumlin when Saban was the coach at LSU.

“I think he’s done a fantastic job. I think he’s a wonderful job,” Saban said. “He did a great job at Houston when he was there. I’ve known Kevin for a long time. Actually interviewed him once, tried to hire him once at LSU and we’d love to have had him on the staff. I think his record really speaks for itself in terms of the improvement that he’s been able to make, how his presence has impacted on the program that he’s been involved on. I think he’s done a phenomenal job.”

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