Tide Has Good, Bad Injury News

There was good news and bad news on the Alabama football injury front Wednesday. Bama is getting a starter back for Saturday, but the Crimson Tide has lost a back-up for an estimated six to eight weeks.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said that senior right guard Anthony Steen was back in practice Wednesday and he expected Steen to be able to play against Colorado State. Steen, the veteran of the offensive line, was injured late in the Texas A&M game and missed the final Tide drive for the winning points. His place was taken by Kellen Williams. Steen had also missed the first two days of practice this week.

Saban revealed back-up freshman nose tackle Dakota Ball suffered a broken foot "at the end of practice" Tuesday. Saban said it would probably require surgery and that Ball would be out "six to eight weeks."

Meanwhile, Bama continued preparation for its first game of the year in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Tide, 2-0 and ranked first in the nation, hosts Colorado State, 1-2, at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday. ESPN2 will televise the game.

The game marks the return of Jim McElwain, head coach at Colorado State and formerly Tide quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator under Saban.

As is usually the case, Saban appears more concerned with his own team than with the opponent.

"I think the big thing we're trying to focus our team on is we need more players to be responsible, to do a good job and get more ready to play winning football, add to the depth of your team," Saban said. "We need everybody to improve. I think the most important thing about a good team is are you going continue to improve throughout the season? Everybody talks about the improvement between the first and second game, but how many teams continue to improve throughout the season by practicing the right way, working the right way, getting more people on the team who are responsible to do their job in a way that you can count on them and trust them to go in the game and play in the game. We have some young players who need to do that, but we have some older players who need to be more consistent in what they do as well.

"We have consequences for good and bad behavior all the time. There's consequences for being a good leader, there's consequences for being a bad leader. There's consequences for every behavior, and it's not just what happens right now, it lives with you, it's part of your permanent record. You make an F in a class, they don't erase it. Anyone who looks at your transcript knows that you made an F in a class. It's a part of your permanent record. Well, we don't want those kinds of consequences for our players, but they have to know that they have to pay the price for success up front in terms of putting the work every day so that we can improve as a team and we can continue to improve as a team."

As for the Rams under McElwain, Saban said there are "a lot of similarities" in the Colorado State offense and the offense McElwain ran at Alabama.

Saban said that McElwain "did a great job while he was here. He ran a lot of formations, lot of adjustments for the defense. Always something different in the game that you have to go over and try to make adjustments to when you're trying to defend it. He did a lot of that here. I think they are very difficult to defend. I think he does a great job with the players that he has. They've got two really good tight ends. They do a good job of running the play. They've got a couple of good little backs. The quarterback does a nice job.

"I really think that Jim doesn't do a lot different, but we did a lot of things when he was here. We expect a lot, we know a lot about what they can do and what he's done in the past. So it's a lot to prepare for."

BamaMag Top Stories