Players adjust to practice after break

Players adjust to practice after break

UA Athletics

03_09_2012 MFB First Practice #1 Dee Hart #26 Nick Tinker Photo by Kalyn-Wright Davis

Brett Hudson

The Alabama football team finished its second day of spring training Monday after the Tide took a 10-day hiatus from its last practice on March 9 for spring break. Head coach Nick Saban said he thought the time between practices had an effect on his players, both in quality of practice and in personnel.

“[Running back] Blake Sims had a little hip injury playing basketball or something during break,” Saban said. “We try to get these guys not to play basketball, but they all think they can play in the NBA, so they just have to suffer the consequences of that.”


Turning an offensive corner

A lot was made of how the Crimson Tide would transition from the offense of Jim McElwain, now the head coach at Colorado State, to that of Doug Nussmeier, coming to Alabama from Washington.

Quarterback AJ McCarron said the new offensive coordinator changes “nothing at all,” and that he is mainly focusing on getting used to seeing new people in new positions this season.


Another Jones brothers mission trip

While most of the players went back to their respective hometowns for spring break, offensive lineman Barrett Jones went to Jinotaga, Nicaragua with his brother, tight end Harrison, for five days.

“It was a different kind of trip, because normally our trips are a little more work-centered, but this one was more about sharing my faith,” Barrett said. “We got a chance to go into classrooms and explain to kids what we believe and why we believe it. It was awesome, it really was.”

“We went to an orphanage all day and played soccer with the kids, played baseball,” Harrison said. “We tried to build relationships with them out in the playground, playing sports with them. Then we got the chance to talk to them about Jesus and the Gospel. It was a great trip.”

Barrett said the trip provided a new experience for him. Not only did he have a different destination after going to Haiti in 2010 and 2011, he also took more of a leadership role by organizing the trip.

“The past few years it was my idea, but my dad really helped me a lot,” Barrett said. “I made all the decisions this year. Not that my dad didn’t help me this year, because he certainly did. He just felt like it was my turn to lead the trip schematically and make the schedule everyday. It was stressful, but really rewarding.”

Saban said he is impressed by the display of character the brothers showed over spring break.

“I don’t know a lot about it other than that they went,” Saban said. “It goes to show what type of leadership and character that the entire family has, but especially the two young men we have in our program that they would give of themselves to serve others.”

“Nobody does it like the Jones brothers do it,” defensive end Damion Square said. “I want to do that one day, but I don’t know that I could do that in college. You’ve got to be a mentally strong guy to take a trip like that and get right back into things.”