Tide Opens First Spring Under Saban

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Already annointed the best thing since Bear Bryant by many Crimson Tide football fans, it's finally time for Nick Saban to do some coaching at Alabama.

Alabama opens its first spring practice under Saban with expectations running extraordinarily high, even for Tide fans who expect a championship drive every few years. Doubt it? Look at the people in "Got Saban?" T-shirts.

After 10 weeks on the job, Saban is ready to finally see his team in action.

As the Tide prepares for spring, Saban's assistants say no firm decisions have been made about the offense.

Just because coordinator Major Applewhite oversaw a high-octane spread offense at Rice last season -- and just because coach Nick Saban typically spread the field with receivers at LSU -- doesn't mean it will happen immediately at Alabama.

On defense, Saban has already established that he prefers to run an alignment with three down linemen and four linebackers. But he also said the defense may look like a 4-3 with linebackers stepping up on the line.

Spring practice concludes with the A-Day game on April 21.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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