August 19, 2011 8:19:00 AM
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama football team took a break from the heat Thursday with a two-hour practice in full pads inside the Hank Crisp Practice Facility.
"Yesterday was particularly hard on the players even though it was not the hottest day," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "I think it is the cumulative effect, so we decided to go inside today to give them a little better opportunity to be able to recover and not be in the heat. I thought being inside today helped us to improve our mental intensity and our ability to focus and practice a little bit better, which, to me, is probably more the objective at this point than getting acclimated to heat we may never have to play in."
The practice was Alabama''s 17th of the preseason. The team will meet today to prepare for its scrimmage Saturday. Alabama will start a normal game-week schedule after the second scrimmage.
"The practices have been good, the tempo has been good, and we continue to make improvements," Saban said. "There is not an area of our team we could not stand to improve in, whether it is technique, assignment, mental errors, and the ability to make plays and finish play."
n In related news, Alabama was represented on the Pony Express Award Watch List, which recognizes the nation''s top tandems. Junior running back Trent Richardson and senior wide receivers Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks were included on the inaugural list.