Tide in shape as camp begins

Jerrell Harris will stay at OLB

Alabama enters fall camp in better condition than last year. Something Tide fans will welcome as a sign the Process(trademark, copyright, etc.) is well underway.

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said the players worked hard during the summer to get ready.

“I think our team is in a little better condition right now relative to the summer conditioning program,” Saban said. “We’ve had a very good off season…The players have worked very hard in the summer. We feel a little bit better about where we at right now starting out at least from a conditioning standpoint.”

With the conditioning program bearing fruit, the focus turns to developing the right type of football habits.

Habits. I’d swear Nick Saban was a fanatical Aristotelean. He is always talking about habits. We are what we habitually do. Or something like that.

“The focus on camp, however, should be about getting the details right,” Saban said. “Pay attention to details. Focus on what you need to do to be a complete player at your position to create the right kind of habits. The design of camp is to create winnable games with the habits we create by the kind of practice fundamentals that we try to incorporate in our practice design.

“So to be able to sustain that performance for 60 minutes in a game is a part of conditioning; it’s a part of mental toughness. We want to create the kind of habits that are going to allow our players to perform at high levels of consistency to be able to sustain that and play winning football.”

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Habits also play a role in attrition. Saban pledged he wasn’t giving up on Mike Shula’s players still in the Tide system. He didn’t want players to leave. The most effective way to prevent attrition? Better habits.

“We’ll we really want to try and develop good habits with our players so that we don’t have attrition on our squad,” Saban said. “I think that if you look across the board, you will see a certain amount of attrition in most programs…We want to try and continue to develop the players and the program now and compliment them with the best talent that we can recruit.”
Practice sessions for the 105 players who reported today, are split. Saban cautioned fans and media should not read too much into who practice with what group. Players are split primarily based on the need to have enough people to run an effective practice.

Why are the practices split? Saban said to provide more time for the coaches to orient and evaluate the younger players.

One area under tight scrutiny tomorrow and the coming weeks, linebacker.

Where will the incoming freshmen linebackers play?

If you guessed linebacker, you’d be right.

Saban did provide a few more details than that however.

“We are going to start most of the young players, except Jerrell Harris, who has always played outside linebacker, at inside ‘backer,” Saban said. “Hopefully, we will be able to leave one or two of those guys at inside ‘backer, but because all of these guys have played some kind of defensive end or outside ‘backer in their high school career, maybe move them back where they might be a little more natural early in their career.  I think from our team standpoint, we need to determine who can be an inside ‘backer of our freshman to add depth and competition to what we have.”

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Personnel issues
•Prince Hall is on the team. He faces a three-game suspension. “He will start practicing. He will face some suspension. He will not play in the first three games.”

•Will Oakley has a stress fracture in his foot. He won’t be able to practice for three weeks. He is not in the 105-man group reporting, but is taking treatment. He will rejoin the team when school starts. Saban said Oakley knows the offense, and had a good Spring.

•Patrick Crump has left the team for personal reasons, as was reported last night by the Birmingham News.

•“We have three freshmen who did not qualify,” Saban said. Devonta Bolton and Brandon Lewis enrolled in junior college, and Kerry Murphy has not been cleared, Saban confirmed.

Murphy is expected to eligible in January.

•Jermaine Preyear will take a medical in the fall, and return to the team in January. “It is in effect a grayshirt situation for an injury situation,” Saban said.

•Destin Hood and Melvin Ray elected to pursue pro baseball. “They know that the opportunity here still exists if they ever want to come and play college football,” Saban said.


Add Yours
  1. 2

    Alabama enters fall camp in better condition than last year. Something Tide fans will welcome as a sign the Process(trademark, copyright, etc.) is well underway.

    Boy have I heard this before.
    How Saban is the only coach that has a “program” a “process” to bring his players to the peek of physical fitness perfection.

    Saban has gotten everyone believing he is the one who thought up the sunrise.
    Please, get over his clown.

  2. 4
    Bama Fan In N Y C

    Sixdownnowbacktonormal, you’re more pathetic than a Red Sox fan. Were you born yesterday? Are you new to the Alabama PolyTECHnic Institute bandwagon? Have you forgotten where you came from? Being an Alabama PolyTECHnic Institute fan, you should already be accustomed to an high profile Alabama coach receiving more national attention than an Alabama PolyTECHnic Institute coach. In only two season, Gene Stallings STOLE the spotlight away from that incoherent cheater Pat Dye like a skillful bank robber. You must block out those memories because you’re afraid the same thing is going to happen to Tuberredneck just as it did to Dye and Shrug.

    Keep the inferior bickering coming, Alabama PolyTECHnic Institute man!

  3. 5

    Boohoo, Six! You could honestly be the author of the next bestseller, “Tears of the Tiger Walk”, summarizing the pregame sppeech Tuberville gave his players, before the notion that “this could be it” caused him to shed many tears during the Tiger Walk ceremony.

  4. 6
    Sheer Darkness


    Why don’t you take more time to examine Nick Saban’s successful track record and you’ll see why the experts speak highly on Saban’s process of improving his player’s overall physical fitness.
    You can do that or be patient and see just how far they improve when they start kicking Tech’s trailer park asses year after year like they always did before our program was decapitated by an incompetent coach and the NCAA.
    The game will be back to normal soon enough. You just soak in the euphoria while it’s still hovering above your trailer park.

  5. 7

    Ahhhhh……. tears of the tiger walk… what a “manly” moment that was. Pardon me while I laugh at Tommy Tuberville…..

  6. 8

    I dont know whay you Aubbos think so poorly of Nick Saban. The man has never had a losing season. Ok, that can be expected at LSU, and Michigan State, And even Alabama. But for christsakes. The man led The lowley Toledo Rockets to an 9-1 season.

  7. 9


    Do you really have to ask that question? They hate him because he has an association with the University of Alabama; as they hate anyone with an association with Alabama. They strive for that myopic view. In their mind whatever happens at Alabama is wrong. It is the single-minded belief one finds in only the most extreme zealots.

    I know I posed this question before, but does anyone remember how many times Auburn fans would write that 1/2 the articles on this website were about Auburn? We were told that was why there were so many Auburn readers. Does anyone remember the last post relating directly to Auburn?

  8. 10

    1) I’m happy to hear Saban announce the team is in better well condition than they were last year. That’s such a cliche thing to say for coaches, but I believe the players are in a better state of physical condition than they were when he first inherited the job.

    2) Either Destin Hood or Melvin ray or one of the two will return to college to play baseball or football soon, maybe not at Alabama but they will return after they realize they can’t make it in the pros… Not saying they won’t, but it’s highly unlikely both of them will ever make it out of the single A division.

    3) Question: how did Will Oakley sustain a foot fracture? Did it happen during Spring practice? And will he be starting this year?

    4) To answer your question Kenny, that’s the excuse API fans uses as a coverup to raid our boards with jealousy, envy, insecurity and inferiority. Their AUbsession with Alabama will never die. Whatever happens in or to API doesn’t matter to them but whatever happens in Tuscaloosa or to Alabama does.

  9. 11

    Melvin Ray would probably be the most likely one to come play college football. He went and played professional baseball, because he was not going to be able to qualify. He is supposedly taking classes at a JUCO, which would help him become eligible. I think most people thought Ray was a better football player, so I could definitely see him coming back and playing football.

    Hood was one of the better players in the country on the high school level. I think he was even a high school All-American on a few lists. The consensus with him was that he was a better baseball player. I think he had played baseball his entire life, and had only picked up football his last 2-3 years in high school. I would be surprised if he comes back to and plays football. He got paid a good amount of money so I think he would be in it for the long hall.

    My understanding of Oakley is that he did fracture his foot in practice. I know Saban said that it would not put him behind anyone come the fall, but I do not think that is the case. I know we do not have the starting expierence that you would like, but I feel like that is one of the few positions we have good depth and impact players. I am not even talking about the freshmen as there are some good returning players with a lot of talent too (Earl Alexander, Brandon Gibson, Nikita Stover, Mike McCoy, etc…).

  10. 12
    Ballplay Indian

    Do yall think that the Spreds tempo will weaar out opponents like some claim?

    Ive also heard that a spread tends to make that teams defense soft. Any merit to that? Seems to be so…Folridas defense hit the crapper…W.Virginia defense is o.k. but not great. Texs Tech doesnt have a defense. See what I mean?

    If a team could effectively run the spread with a agressive defense to compliment it, I think it would be an awesome combo. Hopefully thats what Auburn will have.

  11. 14

    About the spread:

    I think it makes a defense more vulnerable because you should expect more turnovers (especially when you have young quarterbacks, and inexperienced skill positions), and thereby better field position for your opponent.

    I think Auburn with Muschamp would’ve had a much better defense. His energy would have helped maintain focus, and helped the defense when it was forced to make stops due to turnovers.

    The spread has the potential to wear out opponents. However, this is the SEC only the bottom tier teams are the ones who face serious depth issues.

  12. 15

    Anyone who says the spread cannot be effective is obviously not watching football. It can be effective in any confrence as we have seen.

    I do not really buy the idea that spread makes one’s own defense worse; what it does though is it has the potential to give the opponent more chances for plays. Think about it, if you are running a high tempo no huddle offense you are going to take less time off the clock than a more traditional run oriented offense. This would allow teams more possesions, and more possesions generally lead to more offense. It should be pointed out on a couple of examples you used, WVU actually had a very good defense last year (less than 18 pts a game). Also, UF was running the spread two years ago when the won the MNC, and had a ferocious defense.

    I think the common misnomer with the spread is that it is limited to formations on a few teams. I would say the majority of teams have spread formations in their game plan. I think what really stands out with spread teams are their ability to run at a certain tempo. In my mind that is really more of the defenition of a spread-offense. The tempo seems to be the most important aspect when you hear coaches talk about the spread, and I would agree.

  13. 16

    The now infamous “West Coast Offense” was vaunted to be something of revolutionary caliber and what was the ultimate result? It led to the firing of the mastermind behind the chaos.

    I expect Tony Franklin to follow in the footsteps of ole’ Albert Borges.

  14. 17
    Ballplay Indian

    Thanks for the input guys..Kenny , the o6 Fla. team was not Meyers true version of the spread…It was about half spread / half conventional offense…Thanks to the non-spread q.b. that they had… Last year, Meyer got to use his full blown spread with Tebow..And man did it work…But you were right about 06 Florida defese…They were lights out…That is why they won the MNC..Particularly there defensive front…But my point is, do you see the falloff from 06 fl. defense to 07 fl. defense ?? Maybe it was just coincidence, or from graduation etc…WVUs numbers were a little skewed as in my opinion, they dont play but about 3 good teams a year…But, they were pretty good.

    Cap, as far as Muschamp goes, yes he was good and I didnt want him to go. But , our defense did fold like a lawn cahir in 3 games last year…I dont hold the S. Fl. game against him, as our defense kept it closer than it should have been due to turnovers….But who couldnt see the pass coming to the flat of the endzone in O.T. ? Mississippi St. was pathetic. I think Georgia is still on his mind, it almost looked like he was gift wrapping those 2 wins for his alma-matter. Heck , you cant hold the LSU loss against him. That just wasnt meant to be… I am more intrested in the Xs and Os in this years team than I have been in a while…

  15. 18
    Ballplay Indian

    Chris Leak….Dang..it took me about thirty minutes to remember that…Im gettin old. Awesome drop back passer with time…terrible option q.b.

  16. 20
    Ballplay Indian

    Omni, The Prince was suspended for unspecified reasons…I would not be suprised if it were Jimmy Johns related. Could be wrong though. In general , just for being a thug. You know, a Gangsta, or a “G” , as they are known among themselves. He is from California.

  17. 21

    Well its sad that these guys go to college and instead of taking advantage of the WONDERFULLY FREE chance they have to advance themselves and they just plain take advantage of the people who gave it to them. Penn State had 17 players last year with 43 charges. its just a damn shame that noone looks at character just ability to run a ball or outrun a DB…. SAD just PLAIN SAD!!!

  18. 22
    Bama Amy

    Good question, why is Prince Hall being suspended for the first three games? And yes he is from California.

  19. 23
    Ballplay Indian

    The Saban will not specify, for fear of the whole state wondering why he didnt kick him off the team instead of suspend him….

    Prince Hall = Snoop Dogg…………

  20. 24
    Auburn Man

    Exactly there, Ballplay old chum!
    What did Prince Hall do wrong?
    He didnt chose Auburn!
    Everyone on this board who is named Auburn Man, OMNIPRESENT, and
    Ballplay Indian knows that Tommy Tuberville would never have allowed Prince Hall to do that thuggish thing that he did. (Whatever is was.) Because Tommy Tuberville is an Auburn Man. And if Prince Hall would have been an Auburn Man none of this ballyhoo would have occured.
    Now if you will excuse me I have a bootsters dinner to attend with my good freind Bob Lowder.
    Auburn Man the caviar of football fans……………………………………………………………………….

  21. 25

    CTT himself said that Franklin’s spread was a high school offense and he didnt know if it would work or not.
    It wont. It will be the biggest PR fiasco since the aubbo yokels greased the train track and almost caused the deaths of the Georgia Tech football team and 100s of their fans.
    Here is your future. By the end of the WVU game Auburn will try to revert back to the “3 yards and a cloud of dust” spread formation. Unfortunately that wont work to damn well with the new recruits coming in this year and next year….. And the diagnosis for Auburn Football for the next 4 years? Pain and embarrassment with a chronic case of humiliation…
    Its coming Ball play, get your spoon out….

  22. 26

    Seriously If any coach cant take an athlete and COACH him into something new then one of them is stupid and should just stop! LIL NICKIE couldnt do it with one of the best receivers n the SEC 2 years ago( D J HALL ) so lets just hit the feild leave it there and see what it is

  23. 27

    August 2nd, 2008 at 9:45 am
    Seriously If any coach cant take an athlete and COACH him into something new then one of them is stupid and should just stop!”

    If it is that simple, why arent you the Quaterback for Auburn? Ol’ CTT can Coach you right up…..

  24. 28

    WEELLLLLL IM a lil old for that now, buuut i will bet on me and say had i chose a sports carear a good coach coulda done something with me.. what about yourself there TMCzero? ya reckon the BARH coulda made you into something like a star?

  25. 31

    I dont know about coaching, but it would have helped you immensly if you father would have kicked your ass for a man.

  26. 32

    Now why dont you log in under one of your faggy little names and say something witless and stupid as usual. Come on ….humor me.
    How is work?….Oh yeah …..thats right… This is your work. Cap needs you to make a living….(What a f*cking joke!) Even if you arent getting paid. What a sad morose little drain on society of a man you would have to be. I bet you are wanted for not paying your child support cause you cant leave this site long enough to get a f*cking job… Am I right?
    Post what you want to big man. Knock yourself out.
    It will never change the fact that my reality surpasses most of your fantasies on an almost daily basis. And I can buy you to kiss my ass all day long…..
    Go ahead loser…. lets hear the big comeback…..

  27. 34

    Could you at least log in again and tell me how you are good for this site because Cap wants you here? I would love to hear that explanation again.I almost pissed my pants I laughed so hard. The only thing Cap needs you for is to illustrate how ignorant an aubbo is.
    How is that again? People click on the counters because you are such an entertaining person with all the garbage you post. You are one stupid jack@ss.

  28. 35

    Well your right as usual im a loser…
    A loser that you cant touch. GOOD for you bro but watch what you LIL thing called KARMA and as far as buying foks to kiss your ass, how much do you pay your POOR LIL WIFE?????

  29. 36

    And WHY dont you get my email from the MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN (CAP) and YOU KICK MY ASS OR SEND ONE OF YOUR 6 KIDS TO DO IT????? My dad didnt do it becuase he was a joke of a man who couldnt and that my friend taught me that not only can you not do it, but I would WHIP a BUS LOAD OF TMCzeros,

  30. 37

    Cap he can have my email if he dares becuase i dont take kindly to threats so if he askes he may have it and maybe this stoopid lil BRAGADOCIOUS FUK can come to my world ( bet hes suprised when he gets there though ) HA! ROOKIE

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