Aug. 12, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
A steady rain fell on Tuscaloosa much of the day Tuesday, forcing the Crimson Tide football team inside to the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility for its two-hour practice in full pads. The Crimson Tide completed its 14th practice of the preseason camp today.
"I think it was a good change of pace for the guys to have the opportunity to go indoors today," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said after practice. "I think that this week of camp, everybody talks about the dog days of camp, but I think this week is the most difficult week of camp. There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm when you start. There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm for that first scrimmage.
"This is the week sort of separates the men from the boys. And in the three practices that we have since the scrimmage, two (Monday) and today, I've been really pleased with the leadership, attitude, work ethic, focus and guys really working to improve and not just trying to get through the week, so that we get to one-a-days, but actually making every opportunity that they have in practice be something that is beneficial to them. The guys that are making those kinds of investments are certainly making a lot of improvements and I think that's what's going to make us a better football team.
"We continually try to work on two areas that are critical to us in the off-season. We are trying to end each practice with some kind of game situation that would help us finish games better, finish halves better. There is a big emphasis on being a better third-down team and a big emphasis on turnovers. Getting turnovers on defense, sometimes we do, sometimes we don't, we did not get enough last year, and taking care of the ball a little better on offense. Our red area efficiency is something that we want to improve on on both sides of the ball. That is something that we continue to try and work on and make progress with."
Saban singled out a number of offensive and defensive players for their leadership and on-the-field performance during camp. The list of offensive players included wide receiver Mike McCoy, tight end Travis McCall, quarterback John Parker Wilson, running backs Glen Coffee and Terry Grant and the offensive line. The defensive players included linebacker Rolando McClain, defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, and defensive backs Javier Arenas, Kareem Jackson and Rashad Johnson.
Saban also said that true freshman tight end Brad Smelley did not practice on Tuesday with a pulled hamstring.
Alabama will return to the practice field on Wednesday for its final two-day session of preseason camp. The Crimson Tide will work at 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Alabama will also practice on Thursday and Friday at 2:30 p.m. All practices are closed to the public.