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April 6, 2012

Communication key for second scrimmage

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama football players may have yet to compete in two of the Crimson Tide's three spring scrimmages, but more than two-thirds of the 15-practice spring session already is in the books.

Alabama's second spring scrimmage will be today at Bryant-Denny Stadium. UA practiced just twice last week, and will practice just twice more next week prior to the annual A-Day game on April 14, the final scrimmage of the spring for Alabama.

"This is a little unusual in that we only have two practices in between scrimmages," UA coach Nick Saban said. "It's the way the calendar fell this year, with our philosophy on getting the players Easter weekend off so they can go home."

The scrimmage is closed to the public. Safety Robert Lester said the UA secondary had a strong performance in the opening scrimmage and will look to build on that in the second. As for the offense, the line is among the most experienced units on the team, but even that group has its share of spring challenges.

For left guard Chance Warmack, that means developing better cohesion.

"Really, communication and just the connectivity of the offense line. We all want to be as one - not doing our little separate things," Warmack said. "We want to be together, making the same calls and following off the calls. (Center) Barrett (Jones) stressed it enough after the first scrimmage that we need to come together as an offensive line more and listen to each other more."

Warmack is one of four returning starters on the offensive line.

The UA coaching staff is exposing players to more concepts as spring drills progress, as well as an introduction to the types of offenses and defenses they will face this fall.

"We put a significant amount of other things in and we're looking for more and more players to show that they have the ability to play winning football, that they can show the responsibility to go out there and execute a little better than they did last week," Saban said. "You usually improve quite a bit between first and second scrimmage, and hopefully that's what we'll see in our players."

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.



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