April 16, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama Crimson Tide football team held their final practice of the spring on Thursday afternoon with a two-hour workout in shells on the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.
It was the 14th practice of the spring for the Tide as the finished preparations for Saturday's Golden Flake A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, which is set to kickoff at 2 p.m. ESPN will be in town to televise the game with Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Wendi Nix (sidelines) calling the action.
"First of all, this is our last practice today, and we've been pleased with the progress that we've been able to make throughout the spring," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "We have certainly had a lot of guys who have made a lot of improvements. I think we have a lot more guys that have an understanding of what their job is and what their role is. They understand what they need to do to be successful in that role.
"We are not where we need to be. There are certainly a lot of players and areas of our team that we need to continue to make improve in. Actually that's one of the reasons we are so excited about the A-Day Game. To get to see the players get out on the field and play I in a game-like situation, is something that makes us anxious as a coaching staff to see."
Saban did express excitement with several players that have stepped up their play during spring practice. Two that he mentioned on Thursday included sophomore-to-be safety Robby Green and junior-to-be quarterback Greg McElroy. Saban also pointed to the overall improvement of the Tide wide receivers corps as a big plus heading into the 2009 campaign.
"I think it (the A-Day Game) is very positive in a lot of ways," Saban said. "I think the positive energy and enthusiasms that our fans show, the exposure of being on television, all those things work to enhance the program. I also think that it's something that our fans can look forward to be a part of and have a fun day. It's very much appreciated by our players who get a lot of positive reinforcement by having a lot of people interested in watching them during A-Day."