Countdown to Kickoff
Tempo Better for Crimson Tide in Thursday Practice


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Coach Mike Shula and Brodie Croyle

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama football team worked for nearly two hours in full gear Thursday afternoon, with much better tempo than Wednesday's practice.

"We had a shorter practice today and the tempo was much better, really much better," Alabama head coach Mike Shula said.  "We did a lot of the same things we did (Wednesday) to continue to get some more introduction on Utah State and I think guys are starting to understand how we are going to have to practice.  We are going to have to work hard and be smart, so we don't waste any time out here.  Today was much better in those regards."

Alabama worked out in what was a typical "Tuesday" practice, working on first and second down situations.

"It was still probably like a Tuesday," Shula added.  "On Tuesday we have more of our early down situations and then mix in a couple of third downs.  Then the next day, we have more third downs and short-yardage and goal-line and then the last day is plus territory.  That's kind of how we do it each week."

The Crimson Tide will hold a mock game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Friday to simulate as many game-type situations as possible.

"It will be as many situations as we can put our team through, using all the different kinds of special team situations and substitutions in all three areas," Shula explained.  "We will start with the coin toss and the coaches will be up in the press box with the headsets, so we can get a dry run at all of those types of things. 

"We will shorten the quarters up, probably a couple of plays a quarter and then change sides of the field.  We will also try and give them some situations, whether its two-point plays or anything you can go over enough during the course of a normal practice. 

"We won't be out there very long and hopefully getting our work done quickly and then give them Saturday off and we will come back and start our preparation even more intensely on Sunday."

After the mock game, the team will have their first off day of the preseason on Saturday.  The Crimson Tide will return to work on Sunday evening with a two-hour workout that is scheduled to being at 4 p.m.