How Alabama players felt about potentially canceling practice

Tony Tsoukalas, Staff
Tide Sports

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Due to the threat of potential severe weather Wednesday, classes and other school operations were canceled at the University of Alabama. Tuscaloosa was put under a tornado watch which included the possibility of widespread tennis-ball sized hail and winds of up to 70 miles per hour.

For the Crimson Tide, practice resumed as scheduled.

“Bama. That’s just how it goes here” Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher said. “I mean, we knew that we weren’t going to have practice off, so it’s just part of the deal of being a student-athlete. Everyone else is at home relaxing, probably watching a movie, and we’ll be here.”

Alabama practiced inside Hank Crisp Indoor Facility, although the weather was hardly an issue anyway. According to meteorologist James Spann, Tuscaloosa's threat of severe weather ended at 3:30 p.m., right as the Tide was beginning its practice. By that time it was a sunny 82 degrees outside.

However, that probably wouldn't have mattered either way. Despite learning of the university’s decision to shut down the campus Tuesday night, players didn’t even need to ask if they’d be required to show up for practice the next day.

Well, most players anyway.

“I had some freshman text me this morning asking me if practice was going to be canceled,” Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison said before breaking into a laugh. “You kind of just remind him that this is Bama, this is why we’re so successful. We do stuff like this, we have practices when the whole school is canceled.”

Harrison wouldn’t call out the freshman but said he texted back a response of the laughing emoji. At Alabama, there are no off days.

Pierschbacher said he was actually glad Alabama continued on with its scheduled practice, stating that, “We would have to make up practice anyways, so might as well get it going.” When asked if he was dreading battling the weather on his way to practice the offensive lineman smiled.

The only possible storm Alabama players were worried about Wednesday was one generated by head coach Nick Saban.

“I had an image of us in the indoor and tornadoes going all around us,” Pierschbacher said. “We’re still going. Coach Saban is yelling to start the drill over or something. That’s what I had in my head.”

While Pierschbacher was kidding, that kind of focus has been the team's mindset around the program heading into camp. Coming off a last-second defeat to Clemson in the national championship game, a dedication to improvement has been a key theme among players during camp.

So far that’s been working. Before Wednesday’s practice, Pierschbacher said he has been encouraged by the Tide’s workouts so far, calling this camp “one of the more easier springs that we’ve had.”

Monday, Saban challenged his players to start paying attention to details and focus on technique heading into Alabama first scrimmage on Saturday. It’s going to take a lot more than rain to keep the Tide from doing that.

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