Tide goes back to basics in practice after loss to A&M

Missed tackles plagued Alabama’s defense during Saturday’s game against the Texas A&M Aggies. Safety Robert Lester said he cannot remember a game when the Tide missed as many as they did this past weekend.

Lester said the Tide needs to return to its fundamentals in preparation for future opponents this season. The Tide watches film after each game in order to learn from their mistakes. This game will be no different, the senior said.

“We come in and we try to execute and fix those mistakes,” Lester said. “There are a lot of mistakes we can learn from this game, and there’s a lot of mistakes we can learn from the next game.”

In order to bounce back, the team will need to achieve their goals, the safety said, including eliminating missed tackles and mental errors. Lester said the Tide defense, who led college football in third down defense before the game against the Louisiana State University Tigers, must be able to get off the field on third down.

“It falls back to executing and doing what we need to do, especially on third down, to get off the field,” Lester said. “These past two weeks have been intense. They’ve been fighting for those third downs, and they got them.”

Lester said in order to improve execution, the team will be watching more film and better preparing for their opponents. The players are taking it upon themselves to do these things as well as what the coaches are asking of them. The results of this increased preparation will be visible on the field, the senior said.

Tide using last year as motivation

Both Lester and quarterback AJ McCarron said the position the Tide was in last year has no effect on the team this year.

“Last year was last year – whole new year,” McCarron said. “Like I said all we can do is control what we can control and that’s the next what? Three, four games we have on the schedule. See what happens and then go from there.”

Neither McCarron nor Lester is looking at other team’s games. They are only focusing on what the Tide can accomplish. Lester said the team is concentrated on achieving their goals for the season and winning the games left on this year’s schedule.

“We want to stay excited because the season’s not over yet,” Lester said. “We still have a lot to fight for, a lot to play for and there’s a lot to accomplish out there no matter what happens the rest of the season.”

McCarron said the mood of the team has remained positive despite the loss to the Aggies.

“That’s one good thing about this team. You can’t worry about things happening in the past. You can’t control that. So, have to move on. We have to win out, take care of business, and just control what we can control.”