Saban noted both will have to work back up the depth chart if they hope to play against Texas A&M in College Station on Sept. 14.
“It's up to them to sort of prove that they're better than those players and do a better job,” Saban said. “If they do that, they'll get back in the lineup.”
Smith was suspended for the season opener after being arrested last month for the charge of driving under the influence. The sophomore was expected to start at the Tide's “star” defensive back position.
As for Drake, Saban was asked about his status last week and said he didn't see the sophomore having a role against Virginia Tech. Drake, the team's third leading rusher a season ago, practiced with the scout team in preparation for Virginia Tech.
TEXAS A&M PREP: During his Tuesday news conference, Saban wasn’t ready to talk about the team’s preparation for Texas A&M. Saban feels too much preparation for an opponent can be a bad thing for the players. So, the Tide will began preparation for the Aggies during today’s practice.
“Well, I can’t speak for the players – I think you should ask them that – but you know, we have a plan, we have things that we need to do to improve as a team, which we’re working on right now,” Saban said. “But we probably won’t start any kind of Texas A&M stuff until Thursday, aight, which is usually the most we do on a team, which is two extra days.
The players have been hearing about the Aggies “since we lost,” said defensive back John Fulton. Despite the loss to the Aggies last year, Fulton said he thinks the Tide had the ultimate one-up.
“I mean, we won the national championship last year,” Fulton said. “So I mean, we’ll be all right.”
BELL RETURNS: Wide receiver Kenny Bell rejoined the team at practice following a brief retirement Tuesday. Bell was back with the receiver group catching passes.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Bell posted to his Twitter account, “I'm back with the team!! Just needed time to myself for a day but I couldn't leave my boy @10AJMcCarron we ended this run together. #16.”