Nick Saban runs a legendarily tight ship as the head coach of Alabama and it would be impossible to argue the results that he has produced as the man in charge. With that as the backdrop, former Alabama linebacker turned Washington Redskins rookie Ryan Anderson made an interesting comment earlier this week.
In speaking to CSN Mid-Atlantic, Anderson indicated that Alabama practices were “a little bit rougher” than his pro practices in D.C. (via Adam Spencer of Saturday Down South)
“Practices there are a little bit rougher than (they are) here. We do a lot of banging around there, so it definitely prepared me physically and mentally for this grind that I’m doing now.”
It should be noted that Anderson did clarify his comments in basically saying the difficulty of the college practices had more to do with physical toll than competition level.
“I ain’t taking no reps against no freshman that just coming in from high school. All these guys are good, and they’ve got families to feed. So you’re gonna have to go hard every play out there, you know, just try to get your foot in the door.”
From a philosophical standpoint, this makes sense. The college game is regulated by a maximum number of hours and coaches can often prioritize physical development as a result. In the NFL, the game is a full-time job and taking care of one’s body becomes paramount with that kind of extensive workload.
At the end of the day, this is relatively harmless but it probably could be used as a recruiting tool for Alabama if packaged correctly.