Players Understood Saban's Examples

Tuesday would not have been a good day for Alabama safety Rashad Johnson to buy a lottery ticket. Prior to the post-Tuesday football practice meeting with various players, reporters agreed to question only one player about the Monday statements of Coach Nick Saban. It was Johnson's lot to get the question. He handled it well.



Unlike many in the media, Alabama junior safety Rashad Johnson said the players understood what Coach Nick Saban was saying when he pointed out that catastrophic events may have the consequence of galvanizing those facing adversity. In his Monday press briefing Saban said that Pearl Harbor was the impetus for Americans to enter World War II and that the attacks of September 11, 2001 had pushed the nation to fight terrorism.

He did not say that Alabama's football losses to Mississippi State and ULM were equal to those world disasters, although some reporters have portrayed his remarks in that vein.

Johnson said he and his teammates had heard the reaction and "we think it got blown out of proportion. He was talking about facing adversity and we took it as we're facing adversity. We're in an adverse time.

"He uses different things he can relate to, things he has seen the outcome. It helps us. He's trying to help us get through the adversity."

Johnson was asked if he thought the event was blown up because it was Alabama or because it came from Saban. "He's a guy people look at everything he does," Johnson said.

How has it worked?

"We have had two great practices this week," Johnson said. "We had a great practice yesterday and a better one today.".

TIDE NOTES:

The Crimson Tide worked on first-and-10, second-and-long, goal-line and short-yardage situations during Tuesday's practice session.

The University of Alabama football team worked for two hours Tuesday afternoon as preparations continue for Saturday's regular-season finale against No. 25 Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

The Alabama-Auburn game will be televised nationally by ESPN, with Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Holly Rowe (sideline reporter) calling the action. ESPN has not televised the Alabama-Auburn game since 2003.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, "The Nick Saban Show" has been moved from Thursday night to Wednesday night this week. The show will air live from Bob Baumhower's Wings Sports Grille in Tuscaloosa from 7-8 p.m. (CST).

The 2007 Alabama-Auburn game will be the eighth night game in series history. Other games under the lights were 1973, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2003.

Alabama senior linebacker Darren Mustin and Auburn senior offensive tackle King Dunlap have been life-long friends and played together at Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy. Mustin is the Godfather to Dunlap's son, King David Dunlap VI.

Alabama and Auburn are playing on Thanksgiving weekend for the first time since 1992.

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