The performance did not live up to their standards. Forget the fans’ standards, which are unforgiving and sometimes uninformed. The performance didn’t meet Alabama’s defensive standards, and, although it was just one performance made worse by the absence of five linebackers, they saw a need to fix it immediately.

Shaun Dion Hamilton called Alabama’s defensive effort “pathetic” Saturday night after Colorado State scored 23 points and rolled up nearly 400 yards of total offense. He didn’t wait for coaches to correct the issues before offering his own solution.

“We’re going to have a come-to-Jesus meeting on Monday,” Hamilton said.

Whether that meeting was had or not was not confirmed during Monday player interviews, but the need for one was recognized.

“I agree with (him),” linebacker Keith Holcombe said. “There is some stuff we’re slacking up on. We need to bite down this week because here comes the front of the season. This is conference play in the SEC so you better set your jaw because it’s going to be a fun ride. But we need to clean up what we’ve messed up and get ready for your conference play.”

Holcombe declined to go into details if there had been or would be a team meeting, calling it a “team issue,”

No need to panic

UA coach Nick Saban said team meetings can be good or bad depending on the message and how it’s delivered. But he also warned against doom-and-gloom predictions for his defense.

“I think it’s really up to the players, but I also think that every player has got to look at what they have to do to try to improve and get better,” Saban said. “I think everybody can contribute in a more positive way by just a little better execution. The effort was good in the game, the toughness was good in the game. And really for three quarters in the game we played pretty well against a pretty good offensive team. We just didn’t finish the game like we needed to. I don’t think anybody needs to be panicking.

“I think the leadership on the team is making an attempt to affect other players maybe to prepare a little better. Eliminate some of the mental errors. Play together as a unit. Communicate a little better. These are all things that the coaches will certainly emphasize to the players to try to help them play better. It’s our responsibility to get that across. But we don’t want these things to be like feel-good meetings where everybody feels good when they leave but they were concerned when they started. It could be good and bad depending on how it’s handled.”

Reach Aaron Suttles at or at 205-722-0229.