Nick Saban gives players a rest day

Anniston StarSeptember 30, 2013 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban believes in properly resting players during long stretches of consecutive games without a bye week so the Crimson Tide didn't really practice on Monday.

"We're just doing a walk-through and stretch and stride," Saban said during his Monday news conference. "We do this every so often on Mondays so the players get two days off practice. We still do all the things that we do mentally as far as the scouting report, gameplan that we put in Monday, whatever those things are."

Saban said he's used this method throughout his years of coaching and feels it helps. There was no media viewing period during on Monday.

"My experience in the past is -- we have a seven-game stretch here -- when you play more than five or six games in a row, players start to get worn down, start to get tired," Saban said. "Two days rest does 10 times more good than one. It doesn't do two times more good, it does 10 times more good."

Special teams coverage units

With a third of the season gone, Alabama's special teams has been the most consistent unit for the two-time defending champions.

"I think we've done a better job in our coverage units this year, no doubt," Saban said. "Kickoff coverage has been really good. We've got really good team speed on that unit. They get down the field. They've got a lot of pride in what they do."

One player who always seems to be around the ball on special teams is safety Landon Collins. Collins was again named player of the week on special teams by the coaching staff.

"He's a demon on special teams, there's no doubt about that, regardless of what his role is and he plays on about all of them," Saban said.

Grant Hill

At 6-foot-6, 301-pounds, it's hard to miss true freshman offensive Grant Hill. It's also not hard to miss when's not around. Hill wasn't on the sidelines for Saturday's game.

"Grant Hill got sick Saturday morning before the game. I'm talking about bad sick," Saban said. "We had a little virus going around. It's kind of like a stomach virus," Saban said. "It lasts for about 24 hours. AJ actually had it last Tuesday, and was up all night. We had to give him IVs and all that. Barely could get through practice on Tuesday."

Hill has worked at left tackle with the second offensive line group. Saban said Hill was too sick to dress and the team didn't want him giving his virus to any of his teammates.

"So when Grant Hill got up Saturday morning, he was sick," Saban said. "He was too sick to dress for the game and to really be around the other players. But he's better now. I didn't even think about that after the game. I wasn't trying to keep anything from you (reporters). I just didn't think about it. His status really hasn't ever changed. He just got sick for a day."

Injury update

Saban said center Ryan Kelly is the only player he expects to miss Saturday's game against Colorado State.

Kelly suffered what Saban called a "stretched MCL" in the first half and did not return. Saban said Kelly will be out "a couple of weeks, maybe even three."

Redshirt junior Chad Lindsay replaced Kelly and the offensive line didn't miss a beat.

Wide receiver Kevin Norwood said "I'm good" when asked about his ankle that has been bothering him. Norwood said he expects to fully participate in practice this week.

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