Sorry for the lack of Spring Practice updates yesterday, I had a migraine most of the day and didn't much feel like it. You know how it goes.
The knives are a nice touch...
So here are some quotes/links coming from spring practice to get you (well, me) up to speed on what's been happening:
From The Birmingham News, Coach Saban isn't looking for any quick fixes, but is looking to build the program and is focused on the first steps:
There's also an acknowledgement that the defensive front seven is lacking in depth, and that the secondary is (again) the consistent stregth for the Tide defense:
"If you just look at them in the flexibility lines (you) say, `What about the numbers? What about the people? What about the experience?'" Saban said. "Those are areas that we are going to have to work hard to improve the players that we have and maybe look to add to those areas (from) somewhere else."
Kines was criticized for the lack of sacks last year's unit produced and for staying in a 3-3-5 most of the time, but for the most part it was out of a need to keep the best players on the field. The nickel package he used so successfully against Texas Tech was basically what we were seeing, just without the incredible abilities of that unit because so much was lost to graduation. And it's looking like we'll be seeing that same sort of scheme more, as Coach Saban is "acting as a GA" for secondary coach Kirby Smart and working with the corners.
What that means is an extra defensive back or two -- presumably an inherited area of strength for this staff -- will be on the field roughly half the time, pulling a player or two out of the front seven.
I imagine we'll be able to see a lot of new faces contributing in different areas once fall rolls around as freshmen report. Hopefully guys like Kerry Murphy and Rolando McClain will be able to contribute immediately.
"We're going to have the ability to do a lot of different things," said Applewhite, who coordinated Rice University's offense in 2006. "What we find in spring practice will tell us what we're going to do in the fall."
He also refuted the report that he was installing the Indianapolis Colts offense, instead focusing on the talent available and what they can do:
"We're putting together an offense that fits the skills and the talents of our players and the aptitude level of our players so we can go out and be successful. To say that we're going to be like somebody is not a fair statement. We're going to be Alabama."
"DJ Hall was probably a little bit of a standout at receiver and made a couple of big plays, made some nice catches, played fast, sustained well," Saban said. "John Parker, for the first day, looked pretty good with what he was doing.
"We had a few guys make some plays out there. Those guys offensively looked like they were a little bit ahead of the curve."
There were a few small changes to practice:
Nothing big, but I imagine it gave the players a sense that this was a new staff and system and they need to be ready for change.
Practice resumes today, but since it's closed to the public we'll have to rely on the media for more blurbs from the coaches 'til we get to see what's been going on for ourselves on A Day.