Bama 'gets busy' on Sunday

Not surprisingly, Bama's normally short Sunday evening practice session was considerably more involved last night. Before the workout began Tide Head Coach Mike Shula addressed the squad.

"Coach Shula just said that the coaches could tell us what to do, but it's up to us," related tailback Shaud Williams. "In the end we've got to decide if we want to turn this season around or just give it up."

"I think we've got too many leaders on this team for that to happen," Shaud Williams added.

Famous for his laid-back demeanor, Mike Shula has clearly lost patience with the continued mistakes.

Brodie Croyle (#12) said Sunday's practice was much needed by the squad. (AP Photo)

"We had a long talk at halftime and a long talk after the game," Shula said. "We told those guys ‘If your gut doesn't wrench right now, because of what happened today and some other games (this season), then you need to take a good look at whether you want to be here.

"But if it does, then we've got to fight and scratch. Guys have to work to be part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem."

The Tide bused over from Tuscaloosa to Oxford. Quarterback Brodie Croyle described the atmosphere on the ride back.

"It was dead silence," Croyle said. "I didn't hear one word the whole ride home. We normally watch a movie. We didn't. We just sat there kind of puzzled. We fully expected to go in there and have a really good performance and get a big win. It didn't work out.

"We've got to learn from what we did wrong and be more consistent."

Bama may not sport an all-star roster, but there clearly is enough talent to play better than what it's shown recently on the field.

"We've got to find a way to get this team better--to play better, to execute better," Shula said. "We've got to be able to get things done, no matter what the circumstances. That's what we'll work on this week."

The plan began Sunday evening, when Shula and his staff directed repetitive plays one after the other, insisting on perfection before they moved on.

Shula commented, "(We've got) to understand the urgency of getting it done right all the time... Not just some of the time or three-quarters of the time."

After stretching and going through their normal Sunday drills outside, the players moved to the Crisp Indoor Facility for their serious work.

Williams related what happened. "We went into the barn and ran a couple of plays. We ran them for about 30 or 45 minutes. It was one of those things where we lined up and everybody understood their assignments and ran a perfect play. We ran them for about 45 minutes."

Unusual for a Sunday, the players left the field with sweaty jerseys.

"They definitely got their point across that it was about time that we started going 11-for-11 on our plays," Croyle added. "There's no saying ‘we're close' anymore. We needed that message, and I think we're going to respond well to it this week."

What specifically constitutes a "perfect play?"

Williams explained, "That's just everybody doing what they're supposed to do, coming off the ball. It all starts with breaking the huddle, getting lined up correctly. Then sprinting to the endzone full speed.

"We were going back over the basics, going back over some of the things we've been forgetting to do."

Normally players will leave the Sunday evening session and head straight to their locker to change and then head out for whatever they can fit in that night. Yesterday, a shower was added to the routine.

"It was a lot more intense today," Croyle said afterwards. "We definitely came in here with some urgency. We got a lot of 11-on-11 reps with things going good.

"It was a good practice for us."


BamaMag Top Stories