13 September 2008
I challenged the players this weekend to get the job done. If not they are going to the scout team and then out the door.That message is pretty clear. Work hard and play hard or you will not be a member of this football team next year. I believe that he tried to send that message last week, but after the lackluster effort against Tulane he made certain that it was sent this week. To be honest, I think that Coach Saban was pretty happy last Saturday night. I think that he was pleased with a win and pleased with the fact that he can show the guys film from that game to remind them of what happens when they don't give full effort, with full intensity. Sure, he could show them last season's Louisiana-Monroe or Mississippi State games... but with those games being losses, there's nothing salvageable about them. And while he was likely frustrated with the level of intensity and quality of play, the fact that the Tide won can not be over looked. There was no major punishment levied. The guys weren't put on bread and water rations. Sure, they were worked hard and likely yelled at quite a bit. But they're all still here. They are all still on scholarship. They even got the reward of a team movie again on Friday night - this week it was the DeNiro/Pacino flick "Righteous Kill". So now the guys have another chance to show Coach Saban, and all of us, what they are capable of. Western Kentucky is probably a less talented team than Tulane, and Bama should have no trouble with him. Bama should be able to just show up and walk away with another comfortable two touchdown victory. Something tells me we won't see Bama "just show up," though. If we do, then I expect next weekend in Fayetteville we will see a lot of personnel changes. They've had their warning, their shot over the bow. Now it's time to respond. Now it is time to start from the opening kick off and not let up until the game is well out of hand - and then it's time for the back-ups to come in and play with that same intensity. If that is what we get, then things should set up nicely for Alabama to begin SEC play next week. Things will be moving along nicely for Bama to move into the meaty part of the schedule. If that is not what we get... well, "the process" might be looking at reboot of sorts. With only nine senior scholarship players it is not a huge shock that this team is still developing in the leadership department. There are some solid leaders on this team - Rashad Johnson and Antoine Caldwell are probably the two most visible. Even though some of our opponents are likely tired of hearing it, the fact remains that this is still a very young Alabama football team. Of the 85 guys on scholarship 52 are either freshmen or sophomores.Of the 22 listed starters on Bama's depth chart only five are seniors. And when you have younger guys playing large roles, there are going to be times when consistency and focus aren't there. Those younger guys are starting to get that experience, though. And the Western Kentucky game could (and should) provide even more experience for even more younger players. Those players have been given their fair warning now. It's play hard or play elsewhere. And I'm guessing that the message has been heard. It's "buy in" or "ship out." Today's game will give everyone on the team a very public chance to show which they've decided to do.
|< Prev||Next >|