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Thursday Practice Report: Tide focus on mental intensity

Richardson, Maze, Hanks named to Inaugural Pony Express Award Watch List

Alabama head coach Nick Saban took the Crimson Tide indoors on Thursday to recover from Tuscaloosa heat. (Courtesy: Alabama Athletic Media Relations)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team took a much needed break from the southern heat as the Crimson Tide practiced for two hours in full pads inside the Hank Crisp Practice Facility Thursday afternoon.

“Yesterday was particularly hard on the players even though it was not the hottest day,” Alabama head 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 actually practice a little bit better, which, to me, is probably more the objective at this point than getting acclimated to heat that we may never have to play in.”

The practice marked the 17th for Alabama this preseason as the Crimson Tide will meet one more time on Friday to prepare for the Saturday scrimmage. Alabama will start a normal game-week schedule after the conclusion of the second scrimmage.

“The practices have been good,” Saban added. “The tempo has been good, and we continue to make improvements. 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.”

Alabama was represented on the Pony Express Award Watch List, which recognizes the top tandems in the country. Junior running back Trent Richardson was joined by senior wide receivers Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks on the inaugural list.

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