Washington Works On Assignments

It would seem to make sense that if a football player uses a certain technique with success, he should keep doing it the same way. Nope, said Alabama defensive tackle Lorenzo Washington. Last Saturday he made a mistake on his assignment, but luckily made a big play, stopping Vanderbilt short on a third-and-one play.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban had talked about the defensive middle front having been a little soft in the Crimson Tide's season-opening 52-6 victory over Western Carolina.

Following Bama's 24-10 win over Vanderbilt last Saturday, Saban indicated he had seen improvement.

When defensive tackle Lorenzo Washington was reminded of his big play in that win over Vandy, he confessed. "I busted the assignment," he said. He made the play against the Commodores, but on Tuesday after practice he said, "I'll have to do better against Vanderbilt. You give Darren McFadden a seam and he'll be through it."

Rare is the report on this week's Bama-Arkansas game that doesn't focus on the Razorbacks' outstanding tailback, Darren McFadden. Washington and his Crimson Tide defensive teammates are also focused on McFadden (and the Hogs' other excellent running back, Felix Jones).

Alabama will host Arkansas at 5:45 p.m. CDT Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. ESPN will televise the contest.

Washington talked about the Arkansas running game following Tuesday's Bama practice. "Both (McFadden and Jones) have that gear," Washington said. "McFadden can take it up the middle, break tackles, and turn on the speed. Jones seems to be more inclined to use speed first. Both of them are speed backs."

McFadden is considered the leading Heisman Trophy candidate. Washington said it is important not to let him break the first tackle. "You have to get a helmet on him," Washington said. "The first man needs to get him down."

Although the Razorbacks lost three starters from what Washington said was an excellent offensive line in 2006, he thinks this year's Razorbacks offensive front is very good.

Washington said practice this week is emphasizing techniques. "I've played pretty good at times," he said. "There's always room for improvement. You have to keep working on techniques, keep doing what the coaches are teaching."

Alabama's Tuesday practice was conducted mostly outside but finished in the indoor practice facility after a thunderstorm hit late in the afternoon.

Washington said he thought it was "a pretty good practice. We needed to pick up the tempo, and I thought we did."

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