Tide Football Starts To Take Shape

There were the "poor me"s. Paralysis by analysis. Stuff on the wall. Capache? But the bottom line is that while there has been progress in Alabama's fall camp, there needs to be more.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban had good news and bad news as he began his remarks following the Crimson Tide's Tuesday practice. On Monday Bama had two practices. There had been a day off Sunday after the first of two fall camp scrimmages Saturday.?

The Monday work, Saan said, probably was "the best two practices in a day that we've had. I really like the way the players responded to making the corrections that we needed to make from the scrimmage. We've made some progress."

That was Monday. On Tuesday, "I think we had...a little bit of what I call the ‘poor me's," Saban said. "‘Poor me, I'm tired.' ‘Poor, me, I'm hot.' ‘Poor me, I'm sore.' And this and that and all that.

"We really had to work to get them going. But they responded well, and we got something out of practice."

Alabama will have its final day of two practices on Tuesday. The second and final scrimmage of fall work is scheduled for Saturday.

"I'm pleased with the progress we're making," Saban said. ‘I think things are starting to take shape."

Saban expects to learn something about younger players, particularly, when the Crimson Tide goes to Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday.

"What you see in the first scrimmage is a lot of these guys aren't playing fast," Saban said. "They are trying to do the right thing.

"So it's sort of paralysis by analysis a little bit.

"They don't really play hard and don't really play fast so you don't really see the kind of players they are.

"Each day at practice you see these guys start to make progress--incrementally, maybe by inches. But you see the progress you are making. And maybe it's not in total and maybe it's not on a consistent basis, but you see flashes of these guys starting to figure it out.

"I think at least n the next scrimmage they'll understand the intensity, the toughness, the effort that is expected, and they'll be a lot further along in terms of the repetition they've got to be able to execute to do their job and we can make a lot better evaluation and where we go with them from there."

Saban has explained in the past the teaching method of overloading the players, then going back over and over again as necessary so they add to their knowledge.

"We have more stuff in on offense and more stuff in on defense than we ever would have in for one game," he said. "Because we throw all the you-know-what on the wall and see what sticks. And then whatever doesn't stick, we put it in the bucket and throw it on the wall again.

"So, some of those guys have a lot of you-know-what in their bucket still that's getting thrown up against the wall.

"You capache? You understand what I'm trying to say?"

The system is made even more complicated because players are getting bits and pieces of game plans that won't be in effect for perhaps weeks or months.

"We put all these packages in of stuff we're going to do with different players on the field and all that so all these guys have to learn all that stuff, but we won't even do that stuff only against certain teams," Saban said. "And then now, starting this week, we take a different team that we play and we have one period in practice where we're going over our game plan for what we do against them. So if they even a little bit understand what they were doing before, now they're getting confused because we're making them adapt and adjust to what Mississippi State's offense or whatever.

"So this is probably the most difficult time for guys, and the place they have the most adjustments is the offensive line and in the secondary. Those are the guys that probably have the most to learn."

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