Williams Was Ready For Some Football

Michael Williams was just happy to see a football. Williams, the Alabama starting tight end the past two years, is a veteran of spring drills and ready for everything. He's also a veteran of the four-week program that precedes spring football practice, Coach Nick Saban's Fourth Quarter Program.

Alabama started its spring football practice Friday, then began spring break. The second practice will be a week from Monday, March 19. The Tide will have 15 practices, ending with the April 14 A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Michael Williams will be Bama's starting tight end for the third consecutive year in 2012. The 6-6, 269-pound native of reform, is a three-year letterman. Williams had 11 career receptions going into his junior season, but last year added 16 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Bama in a 12-1 national championship season.

Williams said the first day of practice was "great because of the (cool) weather, but it was a regular practice." That means it was demanding.

"We practiced for the new guys, the freshmen who came in, so they could see how we practice before the spring break. When we get back we can keep going full speed. (Coach Nick Saban) needed the freshmen to see how we do things around here so when we come back we're ready to go with no missed steps, nothing missing, keep building on what we did today."

Alabama's first practice came two months to the day since the Crimson Tide defeated LSU, 21-0, in the BCS National Championship Game. Although that is a relatively short time between the end of the season and the start of spring drills, Williams said, "I was ready for it because of the Fourth Quarter Program. Once you go through the Fourth Quarter, you're ready to see a football. The Fourth Quarter is probably the worst thing you'll ever go through in your life.

"It's terrible."

That's also a reason Williams is happy for the the 10-day break between the first spring practice and the second.

"We probably need it," he said. "The Fourth Quarter takes a toll on you. You never see people like me doing front flips, but I do that in Fourth Quarter. It's craziness, but you have to do it, and now I think our bodies need that rest."

Doug Nussmeier has replaced Jim McElwain as Alabama's offensive coordinator. Williams said the offense is "The same thing, basically. A little bit different terminology. The learning curve for me and the others who have started for two or three years is a little more difficult.

"But tight end never changes. We're going to block, we're going to catch, we're going to try to hold our own."

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