After a long, hot month of August, the LSU Tigers are gearing up for Saturday's season opener when they host the University of Louisiana – Monroe Indians in Tiger Stadium at 7 p.m.
"The team is tired of practicing," Saban said. "They are ready to play a game. I don't think the team is tired, but it has been very hot out there."
News of the day included the return of senior, all-American guard Stephen Peterman. The Waveland, Miss. native missed Monday and Tuesday's workouts as he and wife Colleen were awaiting the arrival of their first son. Stephen Jr. was born Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. and weighed in at six pounds, 10 ounces – much lighter than his 310-pound father.
"He is kind of small, only six pounds," Peterman said.
And was being with his wife in labor worse than football practice?
"Practice was worse," Peterman said. "Everybody has been real supportive though. They kind of made fun of me for missing two days of practice."
On the injury front, sophomore linebacker Phillip Maxwell will miss six weeks with a broken foot.
"Phillip Maxwell broke his foot playing soccer with his girlfriend," Saban said. "He didn't do it playing football. It is really a shame because he was a guy that could have thrown in the towel, but he came back here in August in the best shape of his life. He was a starter for us on two special teams."
Other players expected to miss Saturday's opener include Amp Hill (MCL), Craig Davis (hamstring), Kory Hebert (ankle) and Terrell McGill (bruised kidney). Steve Arflin is day-to-day with a nagging back.
With their first game just over the horizon, Saban said it will be good for the players to see action after a long summer of workouts, conditioning, karate classes and weight training.
"Sometimes everybody loses sight of that they do all of those things to build an identity for 12 games," Saban said. "Sometimes they lose sight of who they are playing for. They are not playing for the coach, they are playing for themselves, for the team. I reminded them of that the other day showing them a picture of Dwayne Pierce after the SEC Championship Game with his arms raised in the air."
One of the most delicate situations Saban and his staff will encounter will be which freshmen they will play in Saturday's game.
"There are three positions where we expect to play several freshmen," Saban said. "We will make a decision on who will or will not play in the game and if a situation arises who could get in the game."