How Spring Camp Day 1 was different for the Alabama Crimson Tide

For many the transition to a new Alabama Football era did not fully kick in until Nick Saban was not at the podium for the first post-practice review of the Crimson Tide's 2024 season.
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For the Alabama Crimson Tide, the 2024 football season began in earnest on Monday. It was the first of what will be 15 Spring Camp sessions for the Crimson Tide. Afterward, Kalen DeBoer provided a post-practice review. It was close to being surreal.

DeBoer has been working in Tuscaloosa for well over a month. But Monday almost felt like the first day. DeBoer made no earth-shattering comments as he patiently and fully answered media questions.

Even so, it was quite different from what Alabama media and Crimson Tide fans knew for 17 seasons. There was nothing about the self-gratification of players from creating value for themselves, which was a mainstay for Nick Saban. What did stand out in DeBoer's words was the defining principle for this Alabama football program, "relentless pursuit of continuous improvement." They were not Nick Saban's words, but they were very Saban-like.

Nick Saban is a wordsmith at a level to which no other coach should be compared. What DeBoer appears to have that is similar to Nick Saban is a clear purpose, intensely driven by confidence in what path must be followed to championship success.

That appearance becoming an accepted reality is far in the future. At the minimum, it will take months. For Alabama football fans what will be needed is something usually only in short supply - patience.

Alabama Football Spring Camp Practice No. 1 Notes

  • Returning quarterback starter, Jalen Milroe took the first spring snaps with the first unit. There will be plenty of time for a QB controversy later, but for now, unsurprisingly, Jalen Milroe is QB1.
  • The soon-to-be-approved helmet communication technology was tested by Alabama players on Monday. DeBoer said the first test went well and later the system will be tested in a Bryant-Denny environment.
  • In response to a question, DeBoer had words of praise for Michigan transfer, safety Keon Sabb. The new Crimson Tide head coach described Sabb as having the "it factor." Though it was not said, mark down Sabb as another first-team starter in the secondary.

A video of the entire media session is available in the tweet below.

There will be media viewing during some spring practice sessions. A schedule of those sessions is not yet available.