With just three weeks until the season opener against Louisville, the University of Alabama held its first scrimmage of the fall. The practice inside Bryant-Denny Stadium gave the coaches a chance to evaluate the players in game situations to see how they react.

Following Saturday's workout, head coach Nick Saban met with the media to discuss what he saw from his team.

This scrimmage is pretty much what we thought it would be,” Saban said. “I think the players that have experience, that have played before, really played well. First teams operated pretty well for the most part. Much better execution with the first unit – first defense, first offense.

“I think at this time of camp, things are really, really hard. I don’t think hard necessarily is bad; I think life is hard, but I don’t think it’s bad, I’m not complaining. It’s hard right now – we’re working a lot of hours, we’re practicing a lot – it’s hard on the players, but it’s not bad."

We've heard Saban stress the importance of using these early fall practices to become mentally and emotionally tough to prepare for the challenging season ahead, and that message was the same on Saturday.

“We’re looking for guys that have toughness, and I’ve defined toughness for you before, it’s ‘what is your breaking point?’ Where do you break? I don’t care if it’s the heat, you’re tired, I don’t care what it is, but where do you break? So we have got to have enough mental toughness to stay focused to sustain things, and we also have to have some competitive character. Anybody that has competitive character can deal with failing because the failures are what you have to compete through, what you have to learn from, the best opportunity to improve. Play the next play, don’t let it affect you, don’t let it bother you, so we have a lot of young players that need to grow and mature in all these areas so that they can go out there and play more effectively, and I think this will be a great learning experience for them today.”

The team will take Sunday of before returning to practice on Monday for the second full week of camp.

Listen to Saban's full press conference by watching the video at the top of the page.

More From 95.3 The Bear