Tuesday, December 28, 2004
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team wrapped up its third day of practice with a one hour, 45-minute session in helmets, shoulder pads and sweats at the Vanderbilt University Football Complex.
The "normal Wednesday practice" included one-on-one sessions with defensive backs and receivers, seven-on-seven drills and the two-minute drill.
"I thought practice was O.K.," Alabama head coach Mike Shula said. "Our execution has got to be a little bit better. The injury situation is the same. (Senior left tackle) Wesley Britt practiced again. He is sore, he will play and he will start. (Senior punter) Bo Freelend and (sophomore running back) Kenneth Darby are still the same."
The one thing that really concerns coach Shula is the long lay off that his team has had since its last regular season. Alabama has not played since a 21-13 loss to Auburn on Nov. 20. Minnesota has not played since a 29-24 loss to Iowa on Nov. 13.
"We have talked to the team because it has been so long since we have played a game," Shula said. "We are trying to get them back into the normal weekly schedule. We knew it was going to take some time to get back into that rhythm. We just need to study the play book some more and get into that rhythm."
Shula also said that the bowl game was a reward for his team and its hard work this season, but he also hopes that the 2004 Music City Bowl is the beginning of a long streak of bowl games for the Crimson Tide football program.
"For the seniors, this is their second bowl game in five years," Shula added. "That is not how it is supposed to be here at Alabama. We hope this is the start of a long bowl streak and a long winning streak, too.
"I don't want the players to just expect to be in a bowl game every year, but I want them to expect to win the bowl games, too."
The Crimson Tide will practice again on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Nashville. The final workout will be held on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. at The Coliseum.