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Redskins rookie says Alabama practices are 'a little bit rougher' than the NFL


(CBS Sports)
There is a common misconception that Nick Saban's Alabama teams are so loaded with talent that at their peak they could compete with an NFL team. Former Tide linebacker Ryan Anderson is not helping that perception die.
Anderson, who was drafted by the Redskins in the second round, told CSN Mid Atlantic recently that he believes Saban's practices are "a little bit rougher" than what he's dealing with in the NFL
"Practices there are a little bit rougher than (they are) here," Anderson said, via Saturday Down South. "We do a lot of banging around there, so it definitely prepared me physically and mentally for this grind that I'm doing now."
When people talk about Alabama and the players who come out of the program, they talk about guys who are prepared for the NFL because of how professional the system and program are in Tuscaloosa. It shouldn't be surprising that Saban runs a tight ship or has really physical practices.
There also isn't a Collective Bargaining Agreement to restrict the amount of contact that occurs between players during practice. Saban can't have Alabama guys battling it out 24/7/365, but he does have a whole host of bodies available to him that, you know, do not require actual money to mash one another. 
Running an NFL team means maintaining a roster and balancing a salary cap -- there are similarities in college football, but Saban's resources from a numbers perspective is substantially larger.
On the other hand, Anderson admitted he isn't going up against 18-year-old kids. It's him versus another adult who is trying to earn a living on the NFL field. 
"I ain't taking no reps against no freshman that just coming in from high school. All these guys are good, and they've got families to feed," Anderson said. "So you're gonna have to go hard every play out there, you know, just try to get your foot in the door."
The odds are pretty strong that Anderson, a high draft pick, is adequately prepared for life in the NFL courtesy of his Alabama football education. 
But the odds are also very good that at some point Anderson is going to get a rude awakening about the difference in the college game versus the pros. And by claiming that Alabama practices are tougher than those in the NFL, he isn't doing himself any favors when it comes to attracting the attention that will create such a situation. 



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