Post-Break Practice Called ‘Step Back'

It was hot. It came after more than a week of no practice. And it wasn't what Alabama Coach Nick Saban wanted to see.

The Alabama football team returned to the practice field for its fifth practice of spring work Monday. It had been, however, nine days since the previous practice and the Tide in the words of Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban "probably took a step back."

Monday evening, Saban said, "It's good to be back."

He then added, "I'm not sure the players would agree with that after going through practice today. It was what you'd expect for a day back after eight or nine days off. It was one of the nicer days we've had this spring in terms of weather, practicing outside for just the third time this spring."

It was nice, and probably close to 80 degrees after what has been an unusually cool spring, and the heat probably contributed to "the step back."

The coach admitted that "It's probably not the best scenario to go out there in pads right after you've been on break. The way the calendar fell, we needed to get the work in because we need to have a scrimmage on Saturday. We've only had two days of pads prior to this.

"I think the players need to have today and Wednesday and we need to get things cleaned up so we can have a decent scrimmage."

Alabama is expected to scrimmage the next two Saturdays and then wind up the 15 days of spring practice with the A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 20.

Saban said, "We need to get people back on track and doing the right thing and playing to a higher standard, paying a little better attention to detail.

"I also think the leadership on the team has got to demand a little bit more in terms of players doing the right thing and we've got to have a little more commitment from the mental toughness standpoint to be able to persevere through things when they get difficult.

"That's all part of building the kind of competitive character that you need to have on a team. It's a work in progress with every team. We're certainly working toward it."

Saban added that all players made it back from spring practice and with no new injuries or "issues or problems" and all were able to practice. Obvious exceptions were a couple of players who have not practiced this spring and are not expected to. Both wide receiver Kevin Norwood and cornerback John Fulton are out while recuperating from surgery to repair turf toe injuries.

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