Tigers go through Mon. morning session

With the ESPN cameras rolling, and analysts Mark May, Ron Franklin, and Bill Curry reporting on their every move, the Tigers went through a spirited practice Monday morning, one that will be broadcast on the Worldwide Leader In Sports at 3 p.m. today as part of a special on the defending national champions.

The first session went smoothly, as head coach Nick Saban – miked for the ESPN special – worked with the defensive backs on their tackling technique while the offensive and defensive lines were put through their paces on adjoining fields by respective coaches Stacy Searels and Travis Jones in a series of blocking drills that showed the Tigers have lost none of the fire that carried them through to the 2004 Sugar Bowl.

The second session also went off without a hitch, and all seemed to be running smoothly at The Ponderosa – until the third session began.

Saban ran through a series of bumping exercises with the defensive backs where they worked on disrupting the wide receivers at the line of scrimmage, but despite the hands-on efforts of the 2003 Coach of the Year, the messages were not getting through to the players and the bumping techniques still left a lot to be desired.

Saban marched the backs over to the main field where Bobby Williams had the wideouts hauling in deep passes from the quartet of purple and gold quarterbacks, and promptly put an end to the drill.

With rank sufficiently pulled, Saban and Williams lined the receivers and defensive backs up together and had them practice bump-and-run coverage against each other until the two coaches were satisfied that the message had indeed gotten through, and then the backs were marched straight back to the original field to continue their private tutelage.

Freshman receiver Early Doucet wore a red ‘no-contact' jersey during practice, but did not appear to be slowed by any obvious injury. The Tigers return to the practice fields at 7:30 p.m. for the second session of the day, before having their first scrimmage of the fall Tuesday at 1:45 p.m.

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