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Saban says practice toward Peach Bowl matchup with Huskies has gone "fairly well." (via Crimson Magazine)

22 Dec 2016 Stan J. Griffin

By Stan J. Griffin: December 21, 2016

There are still 10 days until Nick Saban's No. 1 and 13-0 University of Alabama football team clashes with No. 4 and 12-1 Washington in the Chick Fil A Peach Bowl in a semifinal game of the College Football Playoffs.
And with the holiday break for his Crimson Tide team also upcoming, Saban said Wednesday that his team has been getting in as much quality work toward prepping for Chris Petersen's Huskies as possible before it departs for Christmas, and with results that have been somewhat mixed thus far.
"Practice has gone fairly well," he said. "Today the players had really good intensity and mental focus, and for the most part we have done a pretty good job in that regard. (Tuesday) was a little bit sloppy, but I think when you practice seven days in a row, and the reason we do that is we want to condense the time that the players are here so they have a little more time off to be at home to spend with their families before Christmas as well as maybe the time over break.
"They kind of get that, they kind of understand that and they understand why we do what we do and they've responded very well. We have a high standard of expectation here for how we want to do things to try to be the best that we can be and every player's got to understand that, and understand that your destiny and your future lies in what you're willing to put into it and the choices and decisions you're willing to make moving forward from this time on. Some people can do that and some people can't, and it will be interesting to see how our guys do it and how we can get them to do it. I think that will be a real key to how well we play in the game against a very good team. Every time I stand up here, I try to convince everybody what a great team Washington has, and they are a very, very good football team on both sides of the ball and special teams. They're very well-coached and they've got good schemes, they've got good players, so this is going to be a real tough game for us. This is by far the best team we've played against all year long."
He added that there were no injury issues to report from Wednesday as everyone participated in practice.


When asked about his impressions of Washington sophomore quarterback Jake Browning, Saban said there are numerous things that stand out to him about the 6-foot-2, 209-pound Folsom, Calif. native.
"He's a really good athlete, he's got quickness, he's got pocket presence, he extends a lot of plays, he can run, and he's athletic enough to run," he said. "This guy is a really, really good player. He's accurate throwing the ball and gets the ball out of his hand quickly and does a really good job of executing their offense. So, this will be one of the best quarterbacks we've played against all year."
Toward the end of Wednesday's press conference, a reporter raised Saban's ire a bit when he asked if there was a reason why junior receiver ArDarius Stewart was working with some of the quarterbacks during that afternoon's practice session.
"Well (Stewart) used to be a quarterback (in high school), and there is no reason for that," said Saban. "I mean he pulled a muscle and he's limited in practice, so I don't know of any reason for it, and if we had a reason for it, do you think I would tell you? Where do you guys come up with this (stuff)? I'm doing everything I can not to say bad words on the holiday season."
Saban also took time Wednesday to express a few holiday wishes.
"First off, I would like to wish everybody here, all of our fans and supporters and friends out there that we don't have the opportunity to see at this time of year a very happy holiday season," he said. "This is the probably the last time I'll have any opportunity to express that. I think this is a joyous time for your family and I hope everybody has a great holiday season."
Wednesday’s workout was the sixth of seven bowl practices before the holiday break and 11 prior to the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Petersen's team at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 31.The game will air live on ESPN at 2 p.m. CT, with Joe Tessitore and Todd Blackledge in the booth and Holly Rowe on the sidelines.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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