Coronavirus: Nick Saban hoping for a 14-day teaching period for teams before fall practices

With spring practices and organized activities on hold and social distancing measures in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the typical routine of the college football world has been thrown out the window.

And boy, college football coaches love routines. Especially Alabama coach Nick Saban. With no spring practice to coach or ways to meet with his team in-person, Saban told reporters Thursday that he’s finding a new routine for himself and his staff in our current climate. He meets with his coaches every morning via Zoom at 7:30.

“We usually use the morning to work on next year’s opponents, which is not specifically what we’d be doing at this time of year with spring practice going on,” Saban told reporters via Rivals’ Bama Insider. “In the afternoons, I try to do as much as we can to keep in contact with recruits. … On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday right now we’re doing sessions with our players. I do video conferences and phone calls with recruits during the afternoon. That’s pretty much what a day is like, and we’re doing the best we can."

Will the college football season begin as scheduled? (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

The SEC is allowing teams to meet with players for two hours a week on video calls. There are limits to what coaches can do on those calls and Saban said Alabama’s have been focusing on play installations.

[Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic]

Saban has also been one of many college football coaches who have filmed an educational message about the benefits of social distancing and hygiene during the pandemic.

When will football season begin?

There is no way to tell right now just when football season will begin. We all hope, of course, that it will start on time and that we’ll be on the significant downslope of this pandemic as the season approaches. But that’s just a hope and nothing more at the moment given the United States’ lack of testing and slow reaction to the spread of the coronavirus.

If Week 1 is going to happen as scheduled, teams are going to need ample time to prepare and practice. That means players will have to start fall practice at the beginning of August. And they’ll also need prep time before fall practice begins.

Saban said Thursday that he would like to see teams able to have a two-week teaching period before fall practice begins if it’s possible. That way players and coaches can be on the same page as practice actually begins.

“If there was some kind of way where we could have 14 days of teaching with players some time before fall camp happens, I think that would probably be beneficial,” he said. “Historically we’re not allowed to work with our players at that time, and this would be hypothetical that in some time in the summer we would be able to get our players back here and we would be able to work with them.

“I’m not talking about having pads on or anything but just being able to teach. Teach system, teach scheme. We’ll have to evaluate the players baed on fall camp. I think the players who benefit the most from spring practice are really the young players on the team. So hopefully this will work out where we will have some time to be able to teach them. Otherwise we’ll just have to evaluate them in fall camp.”

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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