As far as college football teams go, Alabama’s roster is perennially one of the top rosters around the country in terms of NFL-level talent.
Therefore, former Alabama players heading to the pros often have a head start on their peers, as they’re used to playing against top-level talent in both practices and SEC games.
Former Crimson Tide LB Ryan Anderson, who was a second-round pick of the Washington Redskins in April, told CSNMidAtlantic.com on Friday that, so far, he thinks Alabama practices were more physical than Redskins practices:
“Practices there are a little bit rougher than (they are) here,” he said. “We do a lot of banging around there, so it definitely prepared me physically and mentally for this grind that I’m doing now.”
However, don’t get Anderson wrong. He’s not saying the Redskins don’t have the talent Alabama had. He’s simply saying NFL training camp practices are more about limiting contact so players stay healthy for the demanding regular season:
“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. So you’re gonna have to go hard every play out there, you know, just try to get your foot in the door.”
It’s still early in training camp, so Anderson hasn’t experienced the most intense NFL practices just yet. When he does, or when he experiences a full-speed NFL game like he will when the Redskins take on the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, it will be interesting to see if his tone changes.