Football Is Coming

There are all sorts of milestones for a football program with a new head coach, and one of those comes Saturday when the Crimson Tide of Coach Nick Saban and his all-new Bama coaching staff begins spring practice. This is a late start, but one Saban felt was necessary in order to give players more time in the off-season program to prepare. By all accounts, it has been a rigorous preparation time.

Alabama's 2007 Spring football practice is slated to begin Saturday at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility. Spring training will conclude with the annual A-Day spring game on Saturday, April 21, at Bryant-Denny Stadium with kickoff time set for 1 p.m. Practices will be closed to the public, except for the A-Day Game.

And, yes, there will be a depth chart. Although new Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban has said that all players start equal -- the clean slate that comes with a new coaching staff -- he said he would have a depth chart "just for organizational purposes."

There was also a depth chart for the off-season work, though it wasn't based on football skills ranking. It, too, was just for organizational purposes.

As Saban said, "When you call for the first team, the guys who are first team will run out there."

Saban said, "Anytime you have new systems – offense, defense special teams – new terminology, new basically everything, it's challenging for the teacher and it's challenging for the person who is trying to learn it. And that's what we're having to go through this spring."

He said that in some ways this spring practice is the same as it will be in the future.

Saban said, "The general goals of what you want to accomplish in the springs are the same. You always want to do a good job of coaching fundamentals and getting the intangible things relative to competition established – effort, toughness, being responsible to know your job – those kinds of things. But you want to do a good job of teaching fundamental football techniques, whether it's blocking, tackling, block protection, whatever.

"Then the second goal is that everyone comes out of the spring with a good knowledge and understanding and confidence about the system – offense, defense and special teams – relative to how it pertains to him at his position. And the greater number of guys who have that, obviously it is going to benefit you."

Tentative Spring Practice Schedule

Saturday, March 24

Tuesday, March 27

Wednesday, March 28

Friday, March 30

Saturday, March 31

Tuesday, April 3

Thursday, April 5

Friday, April 6

Tuesday, April 10

Wednesday, April 11

Friday, April 13

Saturday, April 14

Tuesday, April 17

Thursday, April 19

A-Day Spring Game

Saturday, April 21 at Bryant-Denny Stadium - 1:00 p.m.

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