Alabama football coach Nick Saban says he's 'feeling great,' would 'hate' to miss Georgia game

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football coach Nick Saban said on his Thursday night radio show that he was “feeling great” after testing positive the previous day for the coronavirus but did not make any specific references to any additional testing.

”I’m missing everybody,” Saban said in a remote appearance from his Tuscaloosa home. “I still don’t have any symptoms. I don’t have a fever. The oxygen tests they do didn’t show any problems.”

Saban did not make any reference to the results of his daily test on Thursday but seemed to hold the door slightly open for a possible return to the sideline for Saturday's game against Georgia. 

“I would hate not to be at the game Saturday if that’s what this turns out to be,” he said.

If Saban has three consecutive negative tests he could be cleared to leave quarantine. He also expressed frustration with the possibility of being unable to communicate with his team should he remain in quarantine.

"I'm not being critical of anyone here — if you're the head coach, there ought to be a better way to do that." Saban said, adding that he would “hate to see an assistant coach” criticized for making a crucial call that did not succeed.

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has been in charge on the field during Saban’s two-day absence. 

More:Alabama football updates Nick Saban's condition one day after COVID-19 positive test

More:Alabama football coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19: What we know, what it means

Cecil Hurt:Nick Saban COVID-19 news overshadows nation’s biggest game

“Our contingency plan is Sark,” Saban said. “He has been a head coach and has has been in those situations. We are philosophically very close.

"I’ve done everything that I would normally do, I just have to do it from here for now. The technology has helped us get through it.”

Saban said he has not had problems viewing practice remotely.

 "When you get the view from a thousand feet ... it's like watching game film. I guess that's why Coach (Paul W. "Bear") Bryant always stood up in that tower."

When the conversation moved to the showdown with No. 3 Georgia, Saban spoke of the need for defensive improvement. 

“We got a little discombobulated going fast (against Ole Miss),” he said. “They (converted) four fourth downs going fast. First of all, you’ve got to make a call on defense, then recognize the formation. They are running unbalanced formations and if the cornerback has to get over to a receiver, that takes almost seven seconds. It’s not (Georgia’s) M.O. to go fast, but I don’t think they try to slow the game down,”

Reach Cecil Hurt at or via Twitter @cecilhurt