Tide’s Tough Week Ends With Scrimmage

Earlier this week, Alabama Coach Nick Saban pointed out reasons for this being a “tough” week of football camp. The flush of excitement of the start of football was gone, the players had gotten past the first scrimmage, it was still more than a week before the start of classes, and over two weeks before the Crimson Tide opens the season.

On Thursday, Alabama Coach Nick Saban said he was pleased with what the players accomplished during the week and looked ahead to the end practice of this week, which is the second and final scrimmage of fall camp at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.

Saban said there were some struggles in Thursday’s practice, “but for this entire week we've been really practicing well. A lot of guys giving lots of effort, playing fast, really pushing through and showing the kind of resiliency, mental toughness, that we really need to develop on this team.

“I really do believe in our players. I think they believe in each other.

“There're certainly some guys on our team that we need to get to develop some of the characteristics of being a mature competitor, being able to play with more consistency.

“But that' why we practice, and that's why they make mistakes.

“That's why the best opportunity they have to learn is when they make mistakes.

“This week is really all about improving _ technique, assignment, mental errors, understanding, making application to different things that we're going to see throughout the course of the year. We're trying to expose them to as much as we possibly can.”

Alabama will be back on the practice field Friday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s scrimmage.

Saban said the scrimmage, which is closed to the public, will “be sort of game-like and play it a little bit like a game in terms of substitutions. We want to get an equal amount of play to where both sides get an opportunity to be evaluated and the players on both sides get an opportunity to be evaluated. I think that it's really important from a staff standpoint as well as an administration game standpoint that we play part of the scrimmage like a game.”

In answer to a question about defense, Saban said, “(cornerback) Cyrus Jones is really having a good camp. (Safety) Landon Collins is really having a good camp. (End) D.J. Pettway's really doing a good job. (Linebacker Trey DePriest) is kind of getting healthy so he's kind of getting back to it. (Linebacker) Reggie Ragland has really had a good camp.”

Saban also gave an injury update.

He said that safety Geno Smith “is doing a little bit.” He said cornerback Eddie Jackson, who is recovering from surgery for an ACL tear, was given the day off. Previously Saban had said that Jackson would be “on a pitch count,” not over-doing in fall camp in hopes of getting him to full speed for the season.

Saban used that “pitch count” analogy as offensive lineman Leon Brown began “doing some things in practice.” Saban said Brown, who is recovering from a foot injury, could possibly be full speed by next week.

He said that defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson is expected “to be able to do some things on the field over the weekend and the first part of next week.”

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