MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Usually when a team is looking lethargic and out of sorts on the practice field, the head coach does something to get their attention. But the Alabama Crimson Tide didn’t follow that formula before Thursday’s practice.

Instead, Alabama’s team leaders got the team together for a pre-practice chat to express how they weren’t thrilled with how practice for the Bowl Championship Series championship game was going.

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Crimson Tide linebacker Nico Johnson said the meeting helped and said the veterans on the team believed the focus and intensity will be ratcheted up more in the coming days. Johnson said the main message “was just getting back to what we do” and living up to the Alabama standard.

The Tide took the field for another practice Friday afternoon:

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Johnson said a similar wake-up call wasn’t needed before last year’s BCS title game because the Tide was a more veteran team. Johnson said the key now is to sustain the intensity.

The younger players would be wise to listen to the veterans on the Tide as many have been to at least one BCS Championship game and some already have two national championship rings on their fingers.

Plus, with Alabama playing against a very fundamentally sound Notre Dame team; any small lapse in thinking on the field could be the difference between hoisting the crystal ball trophy as national champion and walking off the field full of disappointment.

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