March 23, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama football team returned to the practice field on Monday for its second workout of the spring after more than a week off for spring break with a two-hour session in shorts and helmets at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility.
"We were sort of working back through what we need to do as a team," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said following Monday's workout. "I feel like today was more of what a first practice was than even last Friday (March 13). Obviously coming off of a break, focus wasn't what it needed to be, mental energy wasn't was it needed to be and intensity. The biggest thing I see is guys playing with the kind discipline that you need to play with, which comes from focus and mental energy rather than just trying to endure practice and get through it."
The Crimson Tide is two workouts into a spring practice that is scheduled for 15 sessions and will conclude with A-Day on Saturday, April 18, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Saban and his staff are also looking for leaders to develop during the spring after the loss of valuable seniors such as Antoine Caldwell, John Parker Wilson and Rashad Johnson.
"You have to let things like (leadership) develop," Saban said. "The team has to be able to develop a personality and it comes from the individual players and how important all of these things are to them. So far that is something that this team needs to develop. It is going to take time. It is not just going to happen. That is kind of why you have spring practice. I think it is why you have summer conditioning. I think it is why you have the offseason program. I think it is why you have fall camp."
Alabama's 2009 Coaching Clinic on March 26-28 will feature some of the most recognizable figures in football history as well as two of the more well-respected young coaches in the game. Tom Osborne, Derek Dooley, Jason Garrett, Stan Hixon and Ozzie Newsome are scheduled to speak in Tuscaloosa.
"We have a coaching clinic coming up this weekend," Saban said. "This is something that we really try to make special for the high school coaches. It is our way of professionally trying to give back for all that they do to help us in terms of their development, their teaching and what they do to try and inspire young people to want to play our game. We are trying to have the best possible clinic we can have."
The Tide will return to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon in pads.