Tide learns lessons in the rain

About halfway through Alabama's final scrimmage of camp, rain and lightening struck, forcing the team to hit the locker room for about 30 minutes. Head coach Nick Saban said that when the weather turned, so did his team's intensity.

The rainy weather didn't stop Alabama from getting its second and final scrimmage of camp in Saturday afternoon. Due to the downpour and scattered lightening, the team went into the locker room for about 30 minutes, but came back out when the coast was clearer.

But during the rain delay, Alabama head coach Nick Saban noticed some things about his team that did not please him.

"We lost a little bit of our intensity, we lost a little bit of our enthusiasm," he said.

Though Saban did say that the wet weather did not deter his team from handling the ball well—"we were still able to snap it and throw it," he said—the team morale needs some work when faced with adversity.

"Maybe not exactly what we ordered for the scrimmage, but there's some great lessons to be learned in terms of the situation that we're in and how we respond to it and how you respond when things don't go exactly how you want," he said.

Work to be done

Developing depth has been the key for this camp. With players getting nicked up, the guy behind him and behind him need to be ready to go if need be.

Saban said he was pleased with the way the first-team played, but there's work to do after that.

"From there on, we have a very young team," he said. "We have a lot of work to do to try to improve some of these guys so that we develop the kind of depth on our team that is going to help us be successful. I think some of them realize what it takes. I think every opportunity that they get, more and more realize what they have to do to be successful."

Those things, Saban said, are paying attention to detail, doing the little things right, playing fast, giving effort, playing with toughness and taking responsibility of doing the job correctly.

"Even though we have a tremendous amount of patience with some of these young guys in terms of their development, how they develop is going to be critical to the depth on our team," he said.

On the flip side, Saban singled out the offensive line as a whole, quarterback A.J. McCarron, who went 12 for 23 for 242 yards, and two touchdowns, running back T.J. Yeldon, who had 16 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns, and wide receiver Kevin Norwood, who had three receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns, as bright spots.

Injury report

The Crimson Tide has already lost freshman wide receiver Chris Black (shoulder) and junior safety Jarrick Williams (ACL) to season ending injuries. Saturday, a couple more players went down.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, who has not participated in the last two practices, has a foot injury. However, Saban said it's "not a bad thing," but that he is probably going to be a day-to-day evaluation.

Running back Eddie Lacy, who still isn't 100 percent recovered from the turf toe injury he sat out all spring with, has a sprained ankle and knee. Saban also declared this something that is "not a serious thing," but Lacy will also be a day-to-day evaluation.

Saban also said that backup center, redshirt freshman Ryan Kelly, has a sprained ankle but should be ready to go the first part of next week.

Asked if the rain had anything to do with the injuries, Saban scoffed and said, "I didn't see anybody trip over a raindrop or a raindrop hit them in the leg or twist their ankle or any of that stuff."

Saban went on to say that the field conditions were fine, nobody was slipping or sliding and it was an important experience for his players to get a taste of some bad weather.

"We don't usually practice in those kinds of conditions, but I didn't see any reason to stop, get in the bus, go indoors and practice inside for the rest of practice," he said. "I thought we got out what we needed to get out of it. And it'll help us down the road if we have to play in a game in those kinds of conditions."

Extra bit

The wet weather didn't affect special teams at all in Saturday's scrimmage.

"We did quite a bit, even with it pouring down rain," Saban said. "We snapped the ball, punted, catching it, field it and return it. That was really good. We did not have a single play on special teams that was affected by the conditions.

"Bad snap, dropped snap, we were able to kick field goals and do all the things we needed to do in game situations. I was pleased with the work we got done on special teams today."


For more Alabama coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!

BamaMag Top Stories