The Alabama football team returned to the practice field on Tuesday for a two-hour workout as the team takes advantage of the bye week.

Following practice, head coach Nick Saban met with the media to discuss what the team will work on during the off week.

"The focus is on improvement, what we need to do collectively as groups on offense, defense, and special teams to try to improve in areas that we feel like we could do better," Saban said. "And also as individual players relative to some of the technique things that may help them be able play a little more consistently and a little bit better."

As good as Alabama has been, there's room for improvement and the team might need it for the final stretch of the season. Three of the top four teams in the SEC West make up the rest of the regular season schedule, and it will determine whether the Crimson Tide will be headed to the SEC Championship Game for the fourth straight year.

"The teams that we have coming up on our schedule are certainly some of the best teams that we've played and probably the best teams in our division this particular year so I think we need to be at our best when we come out of this week and get ready for next week."

Here are the topics Saban discussed during the press conference:

  • What criteria he uses to grade his players, specifically in the secondary.
  • Punt returners and how he will evaluate that position during the bye week.
  • How Mack Wilson has developed and the role he plays for the Alabama defense.
  • How the Alabama staff is handling the early signing period and how it has affected recruiting.
  • Running back Josh Jacobs and the way he's played this season.
  • The strategy on kickoffs and the kickoff coverage unit.
  • The importance of showing confidence in players, specifically putting Tua Tagovailoa back in after the interception.
  • On whether he'd like to see the season extended one week with an added bye week.
  • How the freshmen wide receivers have picked up the playbook and the offense.

You can watch the entire press conference in the video above.