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Fluker says Alabama practices were like an NFL game


Thanks to the new labor deal, NFL practices aren’t what they used to be.  College coaches aren’t bound by the new emphasis on reduced intensity.

As a result, some college programs now make their players even more prepared for life in the NFL than they used to be.  Chargers tackle D.J. Fluker, a first-round pick in 2013, says that Nick Saban runs one of those programs.

“Playing at Alabama, practice-wise, is probably a lot harder than playing in the NFL,” Fluker recently told 99.1 FM in Tuscaloosa, via  “Being under Coach Saban and the practices he makes each and every day was like an NFL game.  That prepared me the most, being in that environment every single day. . . .  Coach made everything organized, just like being in the NFL.”

That’s a great recruiting pitch for Alabama, assuming players are willing to have their butts busted by the man still lovingly (or otherwise) known in South Florida as the Nicktator.

The difference between college and NFL practices could be another reason to assume that Saban won’t be inclined to end his career by taking another shot at the only level where he ultimately failed as a head coach.

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15 Responses to “Fluker says Alabama practices were like an NFL game”
  1. sowcrates says: Jan 25, 2014 11:38 AM

    I’d say let’s wait until a CB or some other skill position player says the same thing before we start praising Saban’s practices as the most intense thing in the world.

    Perhaps this is ignorance talking, but making OL practices intense can’t be that hard or complex, just a lot of reps and a loooooot of hits.

  2. dcviking says: Jan 25, 2014 11:39 AM

    But I’m sure he be disappointed to take the pay cut that comes with joining the NFL…

  3. green41563 says: Jan 25, 2014 11:55 AM

    He meant that he got a check afterward.

  4. wfriedrichs says: Jan 25, 2014 11:57 AM

    Is it all possible that the NCAA could one day see some kind of lawsuits for concussions like the nfl did! If someone knows of this already let me know. I’m just curious!

  5. ttommytom says: Jan 25, 2014 12:05 PM

    If a person is not willing to put in the practice time, said person will never be great.

  6. neemdaddy13 says: Jan 25, 2014 12:26 PM

    Considering the amount of busts that have come from Bama lately, you would think they would be more prepared to enter the league. I can’t even think of a good player that has come from Bama in the last five to ten years. Maybe Marcel Dareus and Julio Jones. but that is it.

    Trent Richardson
    Andre Smith
    Rolando McClain
    Dre Kirkpatrick
    Terence Cody
    Mark Ingram
    Courtney Upshaw

    Must be some really NFL like practices.

  7. twoticketstoparadise20 says: Jan 25, 2014 12:42 PM

    Courtney Upshaw isn’t a star, but he’s not really a bust either. Contributed as a rookie to a Super Bowl winner (forced a fumble in the Super Bowl as a matter of fact) and was a second round pick anyway, so it’s not like he was expected to be an immediate star.

  8. cnote94 says: Jan 25, 2014 12:46 PM

    Andre Smith is regarded as one of the best RT in the league, see analysis at PFF. Kirkpatrick and Upshaw are not topline starters yet but are solid contributers on very talented teams. Cody is a solid player in a DL rotation. Just because you’re not all-pro your not a bust.

  9. Jarred Alexandrov says: Jan 25, 2014 1:26 PM

    Hightower is a good player out of Bama

  10. Deb says: Jan 25, 2014 1:28 PM

    A lot of misconception on this thread.

    Many Bama players at all positions–not just linemen–have made similar statements about Saban’s practices. Just because you’ve only read this piece on Fluker doesn’t mean Fluker’s the only guy who’s made the point. Neither Upshaw nor Cody are busts. As others have pointed out, not being an All Pro doesn’t mean you’re a bust. Julio Jones, Donte Hightower, and Eddie Lacy certainly aren’t busts. Fluker’s not a bust. The Tide has 39 players in the NFL. They’re doing just fine.

    Saban spent two years with the Miami Dolphins. That’s hardly long enough to decide whether he’d have been a successful pro coach. How long has it taken Pete Carroll to find NFL success? Bear Bryant never coached a pro team and Vince Lombardi never coached a college team. But we all know who they were decades after their deaths. It’s not necessary to coach both college and pro to be considered great.

    The NFL didn’t curtail its practices because of concussion suits. It curtailed its practices because that’s what players negotiated in the most recent collective bargaining agreement. Big mistake. Going easy in the off season is probably why they’re suffering more injuries during the season. Saban’s got the right idea. Preparation is the key to success.

  11. chargerdillon says: Jan 25, 2014 1:33 PM

    Funny I can think of at least 1 former Alabama player who’s definitely not a bust, you know what his name is?


  12. midtec2005 says: Jan 25, 2014 2:31 PM

    But I thought Alabama was the greatest best thing ever of all time. Shouldn’t all of their players be all pro?

  13. realfootballfan says: Jan 25, 2014 2:34 PM

    Obvious question, well why have so many of the Alabama guys looked so unprepared for the NFL once they’ve gone pro?

  14. mcgillicutty49er says: Jan 25, 2014 2:47 PM

    Isn’t this the dude that got about $25,000 from the agent while he was at bammer?

  15. donchacho says: Jan 25, 2014 4:24 PM

    Peoples drive and attitudes change when they get nfl, or any pro sport money. I would hardly blame their coaching in college for this. It’s just their personality type. Bama breeds some solid football players, just because theyre not all pros doesn’t mean theyre crap.

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