Alabama will head to Miami today for the BCS National Championship Game, and the outlook for the Crimson Tide looks a little brighter than it did a few days ago.
All-America center Barrett Jones got off the exercise bike Tuesday as the team worked out in Tuscaloosa and rejoined his teammates in drills. He didn’t even wear a black non-contact jersey. Instead, he wore the white jersey with the black No. 75 as he usually does.
During the period in which reporters were allowed to view practice, Jones snapped the ball, drove off his foot and blocked defensive linemen in drills that were conducted at half-speed.
Jones hurt his foot Dec. 1 in the SEC Championship Game and played at least three quarters with the injury. He hadn’t practiced until Tuesday, spending Alabama workouts either on the exercise bike or doing conditioning drills with Tide strength coach Scott Cochran.
When discussing Jones last week, Alabama coach Nick Saban said he needed to practice before he could declare them fit for the game.
“We’re hopeful that (Jones can) get at least five practices in before the game,” he said.
Alabama will practice again this morning in Tuscaloosa, then fly to Miami. The second-ranked Crimson Tide (12-1) will face top-ranked Notre Dame (12-0) in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday.
The Crimson Tide is set to practice at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a walk-through set for Sunday.
Saban said recently he wants his team to work hard toward the finish -- and that includes the workouts in South Florida.
“I think the focus that we really have to have on this team is you’ve got to finish,” he said. “These guys do a great job in their front seven of getting their hands inside and striking blockers and getting off blocks, so you’ve got to finish blocks. You’ve got to finish plays on defense. They’ve got really good backs, an athletic quarterback, and you’ve got to tackle well.
“Turnovers and explosive plays are always going to be big parts of any game in terms of how you control those things. Control the line of scrimmage. Playing in the red zone. They’ve stopped two or three teams on the goal line this year. So finishing drives. All these things come down to finish, finish, finish.”