Big Tide Football Day Coming

Friday is a big day in Alabama football spring practice as the Crimson Tide is scheduled to have its first scrimmage under new coach Nick Saban. That practice will put Bama into the second half of 15 spring practice days.

Alabama will have its second practice of the week and seventh practice of the spring Thursday before going to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Friday scrimmage.

The scrimmage will not be open to the public. The only open practice will be the A-Day Game to conclude spring training. That intrasquad game in Bryant-Denny Stadium will kick off at 1 p.m. CDT Saturday, April 21.

Coach Nick Saban laid out the general format of the scrimmage. "We will have 'move the field' type stuff, continuous drives, and we'll have situational things," Saban said. Situations that can be structured into a scrimmage include things such as third downs, Red Zone, coming out and going in goalline, and two-minute drill.

Saban said the most important thing he and his staff will learn from the scrimmage is the extent to which players have developed in being able to execute "when they are out there on their own."

Prior to the scrimmage, all practice work is done with coaches close at hand.

Saban said, "There comes a point when you have to let the players play. As a coach, you are teaching and you want to be helpful. But the last step in evaluation of players is to let them play. It makes the guys more responsible to have to make the calls on their own.

"Some guys can do it and some guys can't. You need to find out who can do it, and it's bad to find that out in a game."

The coach said he'll want to find out "who can take their knowledge and experience and execute what we want and what we're doing and sustain it with some consistency relative to when they are out there on their own."

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