October 25, 2006

Practice Report: Tide responding well

The Crimson Tide practice in shorts and shoulderpads Wednesday in a light rain and cool conditions. Head coach Mike Shula said he was impressed with the way his players have responded to last weekend's loss in practice this week.

"We've had two really good practices this week," Shula said. "Our guys have been moving around really good, I don't know if it's the cooler weather or what. We practiced a little more today with our ones against our ones just to make sure that we keep our speed up. Since we haven't seen much of FIU on film, we decided to err on the side of caution and practice at full speed."

Shula said that he expects Florida International to have taken advantage of its bye week to be fully prepared for the Tide.

"They've had a week off to prepare for us and I think they'll have plenty of things ready for us."

"I think we had good work yesterday. Our guys moved around really well. We have homecoming this week, which is a big deal around here. Our guys realize how important it is to go out there and play well. We have to get back on the winning track after a tough loss last week. I think the biggest thing that makes you feel good as a coach, is that our guys have been real good, even though everyone is hurting a little bit, the guys want to get that winning feeling back. We are beat up a little bit, but everyone that played last week should play this week. We have one question mark on Keith Brown, but other than that, everybody should be ready to go."

Shula said that the thought of getting some quality playing time for some of his younger players has not factored into this week's game preparation. Shula said his team must be focused on improving and winning before it takes any wins for granted.

"We've talked to our football team and the media yesterday along the same lines of questioning. We are going to be motivated because of the way we feel right now and how we don't want to feel like this. When you lose a close football game like this is as bad as it gets. We want to get that winning feeling back. We have to prove to ourselves that we can play better. Each and every week we have to get ready to play on offense, defense and coaching-wise. Our goal is to win each week and to keep getting better."

Injury Report

Keith Brown has practiced in individual drills but spent the team portion of practice icing his injured knee. Shula said Brown's status for this Saturday's game is still undetermined.

Terrence Jones returned to practice Wednesday after missing Sunday and Tuesday with a cold.

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