Most people that have had a sports coach of any kind have heard a phrase something along the lines of, “If you can’t get it right in practice, you can’t get it right in the game.”
This mantra is working off the assumption that the games are more difficult than practice. That might not be the case for Alabama, as the two-minute drills run in every Thursday practice may be more nerve-testing than what the Tide did in Death Valley on Saturday.
“Probably, because you don’t have Saban yelling, ‘Let’s go!’,’” quarterback AJ McCarron said. “It gives you a little more time. I felt comfortable the whole time.”
McCarron helped give the entire offense the poise it showed in the game-winning drive.
“I told the guys if we complete the first pass, we’ll win the ball game,” McCarron said. “When I completed the first pass, the line turned around and looked back at me and was like, ‘Alright, let’s go.’”
With the stakes lowered, McCarron actually finds the challenge of driving down the field with limited time and limitless pressure an enjoyable experience.
“It’s just fun,” he said. “You get to go out against one of the top defenses in the country in every category, get to go up against some of the crazy blitzes Coach Saban and Coach Smart come up with. It makes you a better player.”
You know what they say about Hollywood…
Sports are taking over American televisions, and not just live game broadcasts, but in other forms of entertainment.
Friday Night Lights, both the movie and television shows, plus We Are Marshall and Rudy have all seen incredible commercial success, pushing football into a more locked spot of national prominence than it has ever reached before.
It’s not affecting everyone, however. Barrett Jones can barely recollect one of those sports movies that even has an Alabama tie: The Junction Boys, shedding light on the group of Texas A&M players Paul “Bear” Bryant took to the sweltering heat of Junction, Texas, for training.
“Whoa – maybe ESPN a long time ago,” Jones said.
Naturally, Jones’ recollection of the movie is hazy, to say the least.
“The only thing I really remember about it is some guy almost died and they had to put him in ice,” Jones said. “I guess yes, but it was a really long time ago.”
While the film may be a hit within the Alabama community, Jones is not its biggest fan. In fact, he’s not a fan of many sports movies.
“Well, it was a movie, so they’re always a little dramatic about things,” Jones said. “Especially football movies are so dramatic. Like high school football, you have huge people who look like they’re probably from the NFL. They’re like 28.
“So we don’t quite do things like in the movies. It’s hard, but it’s not that hard. We never had anybody die.”
Saban gave good news on the injury front, especially good after such a physical game as LSU.
“From an injury standpoint, everybody practiced today and we’re hopeful everybody will be A-OK and ready to go,” he said.
While Saban did not mention names, most of the attention went to running back Eddie Lacy and wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper missed most of the LSU game with an ankle injury and Lacy did not play at all on the final drive due to his own leg injuries.
One name that eluded the general concern was offensive guard Anthony Steen, who entered the media room with bandages on both hands, more heavily applied to the left hand which was also covered with a brace.
“Yeah it’s all right. A little bit of swelling, but I’ll be fine,” Steen said. “Just trying to block somebody and got hit on top and just made it real sore here and there. But I’ll be fine.”