On The Tide Field, Things Were Better

Although one might not realize it from Alabama Coach Nick Saban’s regular post-practice press briefing on Monday, there is some football practice going on. Spring football, though, was overshadowed by off-the-field arrests of Alabama players.

Alabama has dismissed junior defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor from the team after his arrest for domestic violence. Senior safety Geno Smith was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban said Monday that Smith has a chance to complete some tasks and return to the Crimson Tide later this spring.

Bama held a two-hour practice in full gear Monday at the Thomas-Drew practice facility. It was the Crimson Tide’s sixth practice of spring drills. Alabama will holds its first scrimmage of the spring Friday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium (closed to public).

Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, “It was a beautiful day today and we certainly were happy to see some good weather for us to go out there and practice in.

“I think the players responded and we probably had one of our better practices of the spring. It's been a work in progress, especially on offense with so many inexperienced guys and losing so many experienced players. It's created a lot of opportunities for the young guys. We like the way they're working and improving and responding to that.

“Obviously the only way we're going to get experience is for those guys to be able to play.

“But I do think the offensive line has sort of come together pretty nicely, and Jake Coker seems to be pretty comfortable at the quarterback position, as all the other guys getting an equal opportunity at that job.

“Defensively, we have a lot more players coming back so the defense has done a pretty good job. I like the energy and enthusiasm that they've played with and some of the things that we didn't do last year that we're making improvement on. We'll continue to do that.

“We have a long way to go. I think we've made a lot of progress. We've got one more practice before we scrimmage on Friday. I hope we can clean a lot of things up.

“It'll be interesting to see how guys go out there and respond to a scrimmage-type environment where they have to be responsible to make the adjustments and be able to compete and play the next play.

“We spent a lot of time trying to create an identity with this team in the offseason, something we obviously were disappointed in the way we finished last year in terms of the relentless competitive attitude we have, the discipline we have to execute and do the things that we need to do to have the mental toughness, no matter what the circumstance is, to be the best that we can be. To take care of the ball and get turnovers. We've got a lot of things that we need to do this spring to re-establish the identity that we want to have as a football team.”

Alabama’s 2015 A-Day Game is Saturday, April 18, at 2 p.m. (CDT) in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The A-Day Game is once again free to the public and will be broadcast on SEC Network + with Joe Tessitore calling the action, Greg McElroy as the analyst and Shannon Spake reporting from the sidelines.


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