Oct. 27, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team returned to the practice field on Tuesday, it’s first of three bye-week practices this week. Alabama worked for two hours in shells Tuesday afternoon inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. The Crimson Tide will practice Wednesday and Thursday before taking the weekend off.
Alabama (8-0) will host the LSU Tigers (6-1) on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 2:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be nationally televised by CBS Sports.
Following Tuesday’s practice, Alabama head coach Nick Saban met with the media and here are some of his comments:
“We looked at the game and certainly we made a lot of mistakes in the game, probably played a little tight in the game, played with a lot of anxiety. Really, the way you like for your team to play is with high achievement, motivation and low anxiety; that’s the best way to get results. We certainly don’t want to play that way, we want to play aggressive, guns a blazing, focus on dominating the guy you play against and know that if you do your job well and execute and you play with great effort and toughness and you do it every play in the game like it has a history and life of its own, then things will work out like you want them to work out. It’s like being in a 10K race or six-mile run, you get just far enough ahead and you get about 100 yards from the finish line and you trip and you haven’t put enough distance between yourself and everybody else and then you’ve got to scramble to make a heck of play at the end of the game to win and you can’t overcome an error or two that you made.
“We obviously didn’t finish the game like we wanted. We always talk about finishing plays, finishing practice, finishing games and we didn’t finish the last three minutes and 29 seconds with a turnover, a mental error on a touchdown, taking nothing away from them, they played well did a good job. We didn’t play the on-side kick right, not that we would have gotten it, they still might have gotten it, I’m not saying that.
“The focus obviously this week is to be positive, be aggressive and come out and focus on the right things and don’t get involved with external factors, playing to keep from getting beat rather than playing to win, and there is a tremendous difference in that. We don’t want our players to do and we don’t want our coaches to be that way, because the one thing playing to keep from losing will definitely do is help you lose. That’s not really what we want to do. We want to play our best football. We want to focus on playing our best football and that’s what we want to do in practice this week. Does everybody have a focus on improvement, playing our best football and every player improve? There are areas on our team we want to improve but it comes down to the individuals being able to execute in those areas the best and that’s what we’re going to practice on this week. I think we have some guys that need to develop good practice habits and have good practice habits all the time because some of those things are starting to show up on the field and that is something that we have to get corrected and some of the guys are banged up and can’t go, but still a perfect practice will help our performance in the game on Saturday. I think everybody has to be professional about the way they take care of themselves in this bye week in terms of getting rest, getting treatment, healed up, take vitamins, do whatever you have to do to sort of rest and recover to get it back a little bit, psychologically as well as physically.
“Our players need to know as the byproduct of their success, everybody’s going to play a great game against us. We’re not going to sneak up on anybody. No one is going to overlook the game they have with Alabama. Everybody has it circled on their schedule and you have to understand that and be ready to play your best every time you go out and play. We need to work hard to finish things better; finish games, finish plays, finish practice and focus on improvement.
“I was really pleased with Julio (Jones) and James Carpenter, both played really well. Javy (Javier Arenas) had a record number of production points for a defensive back, probably. (Leigh) Tiffin and (Terrence) Cody did a good job on special teams, obviously Cody blocking two kicks and Tiffin making four big field goals. Cody and Tiffin being SEC Players of the Week and Javy being honorable mention was big.
“Colin Peek is the only guy that did not practice today and we are hopeful that we will get him back for the LSU game, but that’s going to be day-to-day. He probably won’t practice this week, but the real key to it will be where he is next week.”