Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban seemed pleased to be back on the practice field Tuesday in preparation for the BCS Championship game.
He says the focus for the Tide's five pre-Christmas practices will be agility drills, conditioning and other fundamentals.
"When we've had a couple of weeks off we want to reinstall our fundamentals," Saban said.
The team practiced in shells today and Saban says they'll be working out in pads Wednesday.
"We need to pay our price right now to play our best football in the game we have coming up," Saban said.
As for the injuries, the coaches will be keeping an eye on several players to see how they progress each day. But that may not mean they'll be practicing. Barrett Jones has a sprained foot and Saban says the center won't be practicing before Christmas. The coaches will reevaluate Jones' condition after the holiday.
Kenny Bell has been cleared to do "some things" Saban says but they can't know yet if he'll play in the BCS game.
In addition to championship preparations, Saban mentioned the 11 seniors who graduated this past weekend.
"I was really proud to see that many guys [graduate]. We're really proud of that," Saban said.
And the perennial question, ‘Will Saban return to the NFL?' also came up at tonight's press conference. The short answer: Saban's not going anywhere.
I'm not sure…that anyone believes what I say. I say it all the time. This is what we're happy doing," Saban said. And at the end of the day he explained, "Mrs. Terry makes all the decisions about all that stuff anyway."