Countdown to Kickoff
Football Team Works Toward First Scrimmage



Aug. 8, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama football team practiced for two hours in full pads Friday morning, its second day of two-a-days during the preseason camp.

The Crimson Tide worked for two hours in helmets and shoulder pads Friday night in preparation for Saturday's scrimmage. This is the second of four two-a-day sessions for the football team during preseason camp. UA will hold its final two-a-day practices on Monday, Aug. 10 and Wednesday, Aug. 12.

"I think it's really the first true evaluation," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said when asked about the scrimmage Saturday. "I know a lot of the players probably feel like every time they get corrected they are getting evaluated. What we try to get players to understand is, you're not getting evaluated, you're getting taught. We are trying to teach you how to get better and using every opportunity you have to emphasize positive as well as corrective type things to improve you as a player.

"Well, this is going to be the first opportunity that a player as to go out on his own and apply that knowledge without someone standing over him and watching him and telling them what to do. Bill Belichick used to call it `let the players play.' Let them go out there and see what they can do. There is not going to be any coaches standing behind them when the game comes.

"The guys that show the maturity to do that are going to be able to execute, play their position, do their responsibility and still play fast and with toughness, whether it's runners, offensive linemen, receivers, linebackers, secondary guys and defensive linemen. Then, the guys who sort of can't take it to that competitive level will have a more difficult time of executing. I think that is the biggest thing we are trying to evaluate, and the younger players.

"I think from a team standpoint, with the older guys, we are always evaluating system schemes and there are areas that we want to improve on third down, red area, efficiency on defense and turnover ratio, those types of things. We will also do quality control, relative to the style that we are playing and who are the kind of players that can be responsible to helping us affect those things in a positive way."

Following Saturday's scrimmage, the Tide will take Sunday off (meetings only) before returning to the practice field for another two-a-day session on Monday, Aug. 10 at 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.