Nick Saban favors extra teaching time, not longer preseason camp

AP file photo by Vasha Hunt / Alabama football coach Nick Saban

Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn't believe extending preseason camp for college football teams around the country is necessarily the best way to get them ready for the season.

Saban said Thursday that he would prefer some "teaching sessions on the field" over the summer to prepare for camp, even if it is in shorts and T-shirts. The coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of spring sports, including football practices, across the nation.

Saban isn't sold on the idea of extending preseason camp.

"If you look at statistics historically on concussions, injuries the most concentrated time that you practice and not play is in fall camp," Saban said on a conference call with reporters. "You have more practices, you have to spend more time on the field. So I don't know that increasing that is going to be beneficial in getting people ready to play.

"I think if you could do simulated training programs in the summertime that wouldn't involve that much contact, or even any contact, that would be just as beneficial at that point."

In the meantime, he's still doing the 7:30 a.m. meetings with staff - just online instead of in person. Parts of the afternoon are devoted to video conferences and phone calls with recruits.

Crimson Tide coaches also work on specific techniques in video sessions with players.

Saban made it clear he didn't want to address speculation about whether there would be a 2020 football season.

"I never really answer hypothetical questions," he said. "I'm sure that everybody's going to want me to speculate on what's going to happen in the future, and nobody really knows. It's very uncertain. It's uncertain times.

"I think we have to fight through the process of what we need to do on a day-to-day basis to make good choices and decisions, to do the right thing at the right time regardless of the circumstance."