Tide Players Praise Saban's Intensity

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Wallace Gilberry was well aware of new Alabama coach Nick Saban's reputation as intense and demanding.

Tide players had to endure Saban's offseason program, which he calls the Fourth Quarter, before spring practice began last Saturday. Gilberry dropped 15 pounds.

Cornerback Eric Gray described the offseason program as "very intense." Cornerback Simeon Castille was even more concise: He used the word "Pain."

Receiver Keith Brown already likes Saban's in-your-face coaching style.

Saban has also been more of a presence on the defensive side than his predecessor, Mike Shula. He has worked directly with the defensive backs, whereas Shula was strictly an offensive coach.

Players said Saban also has another side to him that materializes off the field - he like to tell jokes.

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