TUSCALOOSA, Ala. The Crimson Tide got back to work Tuesday afternoon as temperatures closed in on 100 degrees at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility. The team held a scrimmage Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, took Sunday off and then held meetings throughout the day on Monday as they got a chance to review video of the scrimmage.
Practice continues Wednesday, which is the first day of the fall semester, at 3:30 p.m. as the team shifts to the normal in-season schedule. Head Coach Nick Saban and members of the Alabama football team addressed the media following Tuesday’s workout.
Quotes From Coach Saban
“We really feel good about what we are able to accomplish in camp. We really feel good about what every guy was able to accomplish in terms of their improvement on a day-to-day basis. These few days this week, we have to clean up on a few things that we haven’t seen from each other; some different things that we’ll see from various opponents which we’ll start to do tomorrow. But I’m very pleased and proud of the players for the way they persevere in a very difficult situation, continue to make progress and improve, and I hope these lessons of overcoming adversity will certainly be something that they’ll be able to use in the coming challenges that we have.
“I think one thing that we still need to work on is consistency. We’re still a little bit too up and down for me in terms of what we’d like to get relative to a standard of excellence and in terms of playing winning football all of the time. To me winners always try to do well. It’s important to them. And when they do well, they build on it. If you have a loser’s mentality, you get satisfied fairly easily with what you accomplish and you’re always looking to take it easy. So, If I do well on this play, I can take it easy on the next play. If I did well in the scrimmage, then I don’t have to focus or work as hard in the next practice.’ So those inconsistencies come with not only doing well but also with doing poorly. So when you do poorly, you’re anxious to do well. Well, what we want to do is build on the successes and build on what we are doing so that we can be positive in how we progress as a team. And I think that learning how to build on successful challenges and deal with frustration are very, very important in both those regards.”
(On the start of school and the practice schedule)
“School is starting tomorrow, obviously. We actually did an in-school schedule today except for having a morning meeting. Since school starts tomorrow, we’re breaking camp and we’re not really having meetings tonight, so it will minimize our meeting time a little bit from what we’re used to, (what) we’ve been having. The kids are here to get an education. It’s important that they go to class and get off to a good start academically. That’s the one thing that they’re going to do while they are here that’s going to affect the next 50 years of their life more than anything else, and that’s certainly something that we want to get them to do and get off to a good start in. So our meeting schedule will start at 2:00 tomorrow, and we’ll probably start practice about 3:30, kind of like today.
“From an injury standpoint, Jamie’s (Christensen) still day-to-day. (Brian) Motley will probably (practice). He was out and ran today. He actually did some running yesterday. He’ll probably get back into practice maybe as soon as tomorrow with the cast on his hand. Cody Davis has a shoulder injury. We’re going to continue to re-hab him until he gets up to a certain level from a strength standpoint and then he’ll be able to come back, and that’s kind of a day-to-day deal as well.”
(On Simeon Castille)
“I know you have lots of questions about the incident. But, you know, first of all: punishment versus correction. Sometimes correcting somebody can be far more harsh to them than the punishment itself. If any of you have children, I’m sure you’ve had to go through this with your own children. And we’re all teachers, and we try to educate so that people do things right. And people do the right things and make the right choices and decisions. And I told you that poor judgments are not going to be something that we can tolerate in this organization. But I will say this: that we will deal with this internally. Simeon (Castille) will have some things that he needs to do. But I’m going to say this about Simeon Castille: of all the players on our team, since I’ve been here - I don’t know what he did before I got here. They all had a clean slate when I came. He’s been one of the finest citizens, one of the best leaders; has done more to affect other people in a positive way. He truly cares about being good and doing things right. And (it was) very unfortunate that he was involved in this incident for him and his family. He’s certainly received a tremendous amount of punishment and embarrassment relative to what he did. And in no way do we not think that the police were not doing their job. We think the police do the right thing. We want to have a cooperative attitude with the police in terms of what they do. We have a tremendous amount of respect for what they have to do and the difficulty of the job that they have to do relative to what they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. So we have a tremendous amount of respect for them and the job that they have to do and what they did.
“This is not the kind of behavior that we want in the program. We will correct it internally, and I am very hopeful that we don’t have these kind of situations occur in the future. And we’re going to work very hard so that doesn’t happen. But at the same time I don’t think it’s fair to take away what guys actually came to college for, what they’ve worked hard to try to accomplish as players in terms of developing a career as a football player as well as a student in terms of getting a degree. So there are other ways that we will try to correct and improve this situation.
“I tell the players all the time that there is nothing that I know that happens after twelve o’clock at night. And obviously there have been a lot of problems with college students and behavior on The Strip. This is something that our players have to be above relative to their responsibility of representing themselves, their family, this institution, the program and the people that identify with this institution. It’s a responsibility and obligation we all have. I feel badly for Simeon and his family. But I also think that there are lessons to be learned from this and there are corrections that need to be made, and we are certainly going to work hard to try to get that done, not only with Simeon but with any player that would have any kind of incident like this in the future.”
QB John Parker Wilson
(On the scrimmage)
“I think we did well on offense. I don’t think we did as well as we would have like to have. I was real encouraged today at practice by how we bounced back. We didn’t have a bad scrimmage by any means but we just had some things to correct and had a very good practice mentally. We responded well to the coaching we received yesterday. “
(On learning the offense)
“It’s not difficult. It’s just taking time like anything else would take. It’s not any more difficult than any other offense that I’ve learned. It just takes reps and takes time to get good at it.”
DL Lorenzo Washington
(On preparing for the season)
“During the spring, I wasn’t really in football shape. I didn’t have that and I also missed almost the whole conditioning program so when we started the summer program I was behind everyone else and had to catch up with conditioning and getting back in football shape. I think I’ve done good to push through it.”
(On seeing more playing time)
“I’ve been ready since I signed the dotted line three years ago. You see people saying stuff and you hear people talking and it’s time for me to do it now. It’s put up or shut up time pretty much.”