Sports Minute: Here is the latest Alabama sports news from The Associated Press - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Sports Minute: Here is the latest Alabama sports news from The Associated Press

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Amari Cooper isn't ready to declare his Alabama career a success just yet. The second-ranked Crimson Tide star is one of the nation's top wide receivers and a potential high NFL draft pick. Cooper's numbers dropped after a fabulous freshman season amid struggles with nagging injuries, frequent double teams and inconsistency.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The Southeastern Conference says all 14 members have taken steps to improve the fan experience at league football stadiums. Commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday that SEC schools have made it a priority to engage fans in a way that will enhance their in-game enjoyment.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Justin Upton dropped a routine fly ball in the ninth inning which set the stage for Gaby Sanchez's game-winning sacrifice fly that capped a comeback as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-2 Wednesday night. David Carpenter took the loss after allowing an unearned run to cross.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith has put a strong emphasis since the start of training camp on improving the team's run defense. Smith sees incremental improvement, but stops well short of saying the Falcons have cured the ills that made them the NFL's second-worst unit against the run last season.

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