03 September 2008
The Tide was in full pads, fighting an on-again off-again drizzle as they prepared for Saturday evening's matchup with Tulane - Alabama's hope opener. According to Coach Saban, "we practiced well today."
Coach Saban noted after the game Saturday that the victory was just one win, and you could still be a 1-11 team - he reiterated that point today. The intensity in practice this week has served to illustrate that point to the players. It would be fair to say that Saban would like their focus and attention on the Green Wave.
and Earl Alexander
were in non-contact black jerseys. Coach Saban noted that both were doubtful for the 6:00 pm kickoff. Neither injury is especially severe, but given the fact that Tulane is working without a scout team 349 miles from home, there should be little reason to hurry them back. Next weekend's matchup with FCS Western Kentucky should
prove little more challenging.
is headed back from injury, although the staff refused to give a timeline for his return. Oakley suffered a stress fracture in the weight room in the summer and missed all of fall camp.
Jim McElwain's impact on the offense was clearly felt this weekend, with 8 receptions for the tight ends (notably Nick Walker
with a likely short lived career best 7). Practice continues to reflect the emphasis on this position with the ends working on receiving drills more than in previous regimes.
Note that we actually got it right when we said tight ends would get the ball more
this season (scroll to the bottom to see not all of us were). That's what we call covering the bases.
Additionally, the Tide worked hard on kickoff coverage and understanding "how to fit on a wedge," according to Coach Saban. Everyone has a read on kickoff returns, but some of those were missed during, say, the opening seconds of the second half.
Nick Saban artfully dodged the question when asked what he and Tommy Bowden talked about when Bowden called him on Sunday
. He did note that Bowden asked whether they'd scouted anything in particular about Clemson. Saban did not mention what he told him.
Practice is closed for the next two days, so look for other fun-filled and informative content in this space.