Tide's spring break not all about rest, fun

rlee@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 18, 2009 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — As Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson left the media room after the first of the Crimson Tide’s 15 spring practices, he proudly declared, “Y’all can find me at the beach.”

It’s a safe assumption he won’t be the only one.

Spanning nine days from March 13 until March 22 the University of Alabama officially is dismissed for spring vacation. While the football players will get a chance to enjoy the break, there still is work to be done.

“We will encourage the players to work out at least three times on their own while they’re gone,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “We also want the players to stretch and stride on Sunday before we start practice on Monday, on their own only because when we get back to practice, hopefully that will minimize problems for them.”

Senior offensive lineman Mike Johnson, from Pensacola, Fla., said he will spend his break in nearby Orange Beach, Ala.

“My high school’s not far from where I’m going to be staying for spring break, so I made sure that was available to me (to work out),” Johnson said. “Also, a couple of guys told me about a couple of gyms down there that accept one-time fees.”

Johnson pointed out the only necessary effects to get in the obligatory work is a good attitude and a good pair of shoes.

“Pretty much, one of the biggest things is running, and that’s not something you need a gym or anything for,” Johnson said. “Just strap on some shoes and go out and run and make sure you stay in shape.”

Jackson, a Macon native, will make a trip to the Heart of Georgia before heading south to the coast. He also said that finding time to work out wouldn’t be a problem.

“Wherever you go, just try to find somewhere to work out,” Jackson said. “I’m going to do a little bit at the house before I go, then, once I get down there, I’ll do a little running and get a little feet-work in. It should be all right.”

Saban and his staff also will take a few days off before diving into a myriad of offseason work.

“We have some professional growth visits that we’re interested in doing and some personal studies that we’ll do over this time relative to next year’s opponents, especially new opponents,” Saban said.

“We’ll also look at things or problems that we feel like we need to get solved offensively, defensively and on special teams, which is not an uncommon thing to do. This time is certainly a good time to do it, when you don’t have the players here.”

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