Learning the Saban way

August, 13, 2008
8/13/08
8:02
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama's Antoine Caldwell is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the country. He's also one of the most honest guys you're going to find.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound senior, who's started games at center, guard and tackle for the Crimson Tide, admitted that the transition last year after Nick Saban's arrival was anything but smooth.

"I think everybody was so uptight," Caldwell said. "You couldn't take a breath. You didn't know what the next thing was going to be. When you're thinking like that, you can't get your job done the way you want to get it done, not just us as players, but everybody.

"This year, everyone is a lot more comfortable. They know what coach Saban wants, what to expect from him, and that makes an incredible difference."

The Tide players also know the difference in Saban time and standard time.

"He expects you to be there five to 10 minutes before a meeting," Caldwell said. "I mean, early is on time for coach Saban. If you walk in two or three minutes before, he's started the meeting and you're running after practice. You just had to get used to it."

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