SEC TELECONFERENCE: Miles, Saban
Top-ranked coaches talk bye week strategy in anticipation of big game
LSU head coach Les Miles and Alabama head coach Nick Saban participated in the SEC Teleconference Wednesday morning.
Each coach took questions from the media for about 10 minutes as they prepare for their much-anticipated showdown Nov. 4.
With each coach having an extra week to prepare for their opponent, both took us through what a bye week would be like on their campus.
“We do recruiting,” said LSU coach Les Miles. “We look at our team and insist that they get some rehabilitation, some rest, regain some freshness. We also spent a little bit more time certainly in individual [drills] so that we can make our team better… We also turn ourselves to our opponent, but we’ll play more against LSU in this open week more than we’ll play against Alabama.”
Saban also talked about the importance of his players improving in individually.
“The way we try to manage our bye weeks here regardless of what’s down the road is to try to improve individually and any deficiencies that we have on our team,” Saban said. “[We] try to work on those specific areas so that we have a chance to get better and improve and improve the team chemistry on every unit to get everybody to play together.”
Many feel off weeks give you extra time to look at your opponent, but LSU’s headman also thinks it gives you additional time to look at yourself.
“With an extra week to prepare, we go through a self [evaluation], and whatever statistics or tendencies that we have, we try very significantly to break them,” Miles said. “It becomes an open week issue for me and those coordinators to make sure that there’s some change that reflects our standard play but also reflects what would allow us to change up what would be a very strong tendency.”
Miles announced Tuesday night that Tyrann Mathieu, Tharold Simon and Spencer Ware returned to practice after missing the Auburn game. When asked about the suspension, Miles remained rather tight lipped on the subject but continued to imply they will be eligible to play against Alabama.
“We have an internal discipline view. It’s not one that we necessarily share with the public,” Miles said. “These guys have undergone our view and review, and I think we’re pretty comfortable with the fact that they’re returned and practicing and working to re-include themselves to our game, game plan and team.”
As for LSU’s quarterback situation, it’s always interesting to hear what the opposition has to say regarding the Tigers’ rotation, and Saban said the two styles complement each other well and are difficult to defend while praising the improvement of both Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.
“What they do, they’re extremely good at,” Saban said. “They execute and understand what they’re required to do relative to the players that they have and the offense they’re trying to execute. I think because their styles are a little bit different, one guy being really athletic and a good runner, gives them the opportunity to make you defend different things.”
We’re still 10 days away from each team’s season-defining game, and we’ll have to wait and see if the mood of either coach is a little different at next week’s SEC Teleconference.