Practice buzz August 8, 2008

Prelude to a scrimmage
Friday was Alabama’s second two-a-day practice session of fall camp. It was a prelude to Saturday’s scrimmage. Nick Saban said the scrimmage is the first chance to evaluate how well the players have retained what the coaches have taught during the first nine days of practice.

“I think it’s really the first true evaluation,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said when asked about the scrimmage Saturday. “I know a lot of the players probably feel like every time they get corrected they are getting evaluated. What we try to get players to understand is, you’re not getting evaluated, you’re getting taught.  We are trying to teach you how to get better and using every opportunity you have to emphasize positive as well as corrective type things to improve you as a player.

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“Well, this is going to be the first opportunity that a player has to go out on his own and apply that knowledge without someone standing over him and watching him and telling them what to do. Bill Belichick used to call it ‘let the players play.’ Let them go out there and see what they can do. There is not going to be any coaches standing behind them when the game comes.”

 
While the players are being evaluated, the coaches use a scrimmage to evaluate how well the overall team is making progress on key areas.

“I think from a team standpoint, with the older guys, we are always evaluating system schemes and there are areas that we want to improve on third down, red area, efficiency on defense and turnover ratio, those types of things,” Saban said. “We will also do quality control, relative to the style that we are playing and who are the kind of players that can be responsible to helping us affect those things in a positive way.”

Personnel
Al.com’s bloggers were reporting a “tender hamstring” caused BJ Scott to seek some minor attention from trainers.

Marcel Darius, defensive lineman, joined fullback Baron Huber, defensive back Ali Shareef and Darius Hanks wearing no-contact jerseys Friday.

Huber and Shareef were suffering from “little concussions.”

Practice schedule
The scrimmage tomorrow is followed by a Sunday off; however, the team will hold meetings. Alabama is halfway through its two-a-day schedule. The Tide’s final two-a-day sessions are set for Monday and Wednesday.

Alabama’s WRs
The Tuscaloosa News profiled Darius Hanks, and provided this informative blurb about Alabama’s receiving corps: “That’s telling in what kind of direction the Tide receivers are going, up, although coach Nick Saban has a history of having a diverse corps with a ton of speed.”