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Saban: VA Tech game reveals room for improvement

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Nick Saban (Source: WBRC video) Nick Saban (Source: WBRC video)
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

According to Alabama head coach Nick Saban, the Tide's season opener against Virginia Tech has revealed many areas for improvement. In his first post game press conference, Saban said games like it are necessary for gauging what a team needs to work on to be a strong competitor.

In usual Saban fashion, the coach started out with praise for the Hokies before immediately drawing attention to issues with the Crimson Tide.

"We have to create an identity as a team," said Saban. "I don't think we did that in all phases of the game today."

Saban says the coaching staff showed a recording of Michael Jordan playing in his final championship to make a point to the players.

"It was his sixth championship, the third time they won 3 in a row, and this guy is playing at 35-years-old like there's no tomorrow. It's interesting that a guy with nothing to prove is playing like there's everything to prove. That's what our team needs to do," said Saban.

The coach says he doesn't think anyone on his team is content with their season opener performance. The coach stated issues with pass protection and pass timing needed to be worked out. He also feels the Tide was outplayed up front.

"We didn't handle the pressure very well. We didn't handle their movement very well and we didn't get much movement when they didn't move," said Saban. "...I think playing a good opponent makes your team realize what they need to improve. I don't think there's anybody in our locker room that is satisfied with the way they played."

Saban did have some praise for the team. The coach says special teams played well in all aspects of the game. During the game, Christion Jones returned both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns. Saban says special teams was working as planned.

"We want our return game to be a weapon and it certainly was tonight," said Saban.

Next week, Alabama takes a bye week before heading off to play Texas A&M. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

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