Alabama’s secondary could be tested right out of the gate on Saturday by Louisville’s trio of returning wide receivers. The Cardinals have three players back who caught 40 or more passes for 600 or more yards in 2017.

Coach Nick Saban said he likes the progress he’s seen from the secondary in fall camp. Junior college transfer Saivion Smith, a potential starter at cornerback, is one of the player’s who has improved in the last month.

“When he plays good technique, he really is an effective player,” Saban said. “Sometimes if he gets lax in his technique he struggles a little more. I think that’s probably true with every player in the secondary.”

Communication between the defensive backs has also seen significant improvement. Saban was upbeat when talking about the position group as a whole after practice on Wednesday.

“I don’t think we’ll know exactly how they’re able to perform until they go out there and make the adjustments that they need to make and see if we can make the plays that we need to make,” Saban said. “I’ve been not satisfied with the progress, but certainly pleased with the improvement that we’ve been able to make.”

Richardson latches on to new football league

Former Alabama running back Trent Richardson signed with Alliance Birmingham of the Alliance of American Football league, it was announced on Wednesday in a news release.

Richardson had 2,032 rushing yards across three NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts from 2012-14. He had 48 carries for 259 yards and two touchdowns for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League last season.

The Alliance of American Football is expected to begin play in February of 2019 with eight teams.