Practice buzz-August 12, 2008

Alabama practiced indoors today thanks to the rainy weather. Alabama football coach Nick Saban said the move inside was a good change of pace for the team.

As the Tide moves into a new week of camp, Saban said this time is tough on the team.

“This week of camp is probably the most difficult week,” Saban said. He pointed toward the potential to get a lull following the first scrimmage–a time when some players are wanting to get two-a-days over and move into single practice sessions. Saban said the players have remained focused this week and continue to make progress.

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Personnel Update
Freshman tight end Brad Smelley suffered an injured hamstring. He is out for a day or two longer, Saban said. No players were injured at today’s practice.

Attitudes improved
Saban confirmed attitudes are better on this year’s team relative to last year’s. He said there were fewer malcontents on the squad.

“You start getting a critical mass of guys on your team that buy into that and you have very few guys who don’t do it that way…,” Saban said. “And I think they recognize the guys that don’t buy in. And there are very few of those guys left around.”

Very few of those guys who aren’t doing it his way are on the squad. Do I hear a collective sigh of relief?

Simulating game conditions
As fall camp rolls along, Saban has the team spending some time working on critical elements of game situations. Sabn said he is starting to try to end each practice with some kind of game situation that will “help us finish games better, finish halves better.” He said there was a “big emphasis on being a better third down team, on turnovers and red area efficiency on both sides of the ball.”

Prince Hall update
Saban said linebacker Prince Hall has worked hard during the summer.

“I think he has managed his weight a little bit better. It is one of those situations where he needed to do everything right to get back on the team, and we are pleased with the progress he made…,” Saban said. “He has done a nice job in the camp.”

Hall still faces a suspension when the season begins.