The University of Alabama football team put on full pads for the first time this spring as the Crimson Tide practiced for two hours Wednesday on the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.
"After watching everyone in shorts and helmets they look a little quicker, a little faster," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "Getting the pads on is something that the players have to get used to. I thought the effort was good and their attention to detail has been good. We are really trying to emphasize how important it is for the individuals on the team to do the rights things to make the team what it is."
Coach Saban also took a moment to express his admiration and appreciation for longtime Alabama athletics director and Crimson Tide great Mal Moore, who announced Wednesday he was stepping down as AD and moving into a role as special assistant to President Judy Bonner.
"Coach Moore is somebody that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. First, for giving us the opportunity to come to the University of Alabama and the great job he did on selling us on this University and what could be done here. Then, all of the support he has given to our program. He certainly deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the success we have had because of the way he sets the table and serves us so well.
"Most things that you would see, he has had some hand in making all of the athletic facilities what they are, first class in so many ways. More than that, he is a class gentleman, probably as fine as you are ever going to meet. He has been a great friend and his support has certainly been appreciated … He has been a part of a lot of championships and a lot of championship teams in this department as a coach was well as an athletic director."
The Crimson Tide will practice again on Friday before taking a week off for spring break (March 25-29). Alabama will then resume spring practice with the fifth of 15 spring practices on Monday, April 1.
Alabama's 2013 A-Day Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m. (CDT) inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The A-Day Game is once again free to the public and will be televised live on ESPN2.