Sept. 9, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team practiced for two hours in pads at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility Tuesday afternoon as preparations continue for Saturday’s home opener with the FIU Golden Panthers at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“I think our players have really worked hard this week,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said after Wednesday’s practice. “It has been hot out there and we have certainly worked hard with a lot of players to try and improve and correct some of the errors that we had.
“The biggest thing we like to do is continue to work on fundamentals, because we are getting ready for different teams, different offenses, different defenses, that we don’t lose the fundamentals that are things that are important in being able to execute and do the proper techniques and give yourself a chance to be successful.”
Coach Saban said that sophomore running back Mark Ingram missed practice on Wednesday with an illness and that senior defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick has missed the last two practices due to a death in his family.
Alabama and FIU will kick off shortly after 6 p.m. (CST) this Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis in Alabama and Florida on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The game can also be seen outside of Alabama and Florida on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN360.com.
Coach Saban participated in the SEC Head Coaches Media Teleconference today and here are some of those comments:
On the most important thing a coach learns about his team from week one to week two:
“I think every situation is a little bit different. I think the most important thing we try to do in preparing our players from week to week is focus on who they are individually and collectively, what they need to do to be complete players at their position so that they can play with the most consistency and have the most success as football players. In some cases, it’s an emphasis on discipline and being able to execute critical situations; focus, make adjustments, get more experience and play better technique. I think all those change a little bit, but I think the bottom line it comes down to who you are and what you need to do to improve and become a better player. I would say that from this week to next week to every game that we have this year.”
On implementing the wildcat offense this year and how you view it as a defensive coach:
“Well, I think it definitely presents a problem. I think we’ve learned that for a couple of years, playing Arkansas and Ole Miss. Houston (Nutt) kind of invented this or started it with his offensive coaches. It creates a lot of problems. I think it creates something the other team has to prepare for. We always have to work hard against it when we play against it. We thought it would be a good thing. I don’t think we were prepared to do it last year. We spent some time investigating it in the off season offensively so that we could implement with the least amount of adjustments for our offensive players. I certainly don’t think we’ve sort of got it geared up to where it needs to be, but it’s something we want to continue to work on and try to improve on.”
On the difficulty of throwing a pass from this formation:
“I think it’s about the guy. Virginia Tech didn’t do it in the game against us, but their No. 8, their tight end, who weighed about 280 pounds is the guy they did it with and he was a high school quarterback and he’s thrown a couple of touchdown passes out of it and I definitely think it’s more effective if you have a guy that can throw it. We have a few guys here who can throw it, but it’s something they have to work on as well.”