09 August 2008
- No injuries. That's big from day to day when you're in camp, but when you can get through simulated live action at a scrimmage without injury, it's even bigger. Baron Huber was held out of the scrimmage in a black no contact jersey.
- Darius Hanks was in a white jersey for the first time, having been cleared for contact. We predicted that he would stay in black until the first scrimmage, as all indications were that he was being held out of contact for precautionary measures. Now that things have gotten a little closer to "real football" he is fully participating, and doing so as the #1 guy in the slot.
- The Tide's other 2 players who were wearing black in recent days, Marcel Dareus & Ali Sharrief were also cleared for full contact and participated in full drills. That's big for both guys as they figure to both be in a battle for playing time.
- John Parker Wilson, Rashad Johnson & Drew Davis participated in the scrimmage after receiving their degrees at Saturday morning's graduation ceremony. Joining them in that ceremony was former Bama star Tyrone Prothro.
- The first unit offense line remains unchanged, with (left to right) Andre Smith, Mike Johnson, Antoine Caldwell, Marlon Davis & Drew Davis having put a stranglehold on their positions. Drew Davis is the only guy expected to be really pushed, with Taylor Pharr being the primary backup at both tackle positions.
- The offensive backfield saw John Parker Wilson continue to be the guy at quarterback, with Glenn Coffee & Terry Grant splitting the time with the first string. Freshman Mark Ingram continues to impress and could work his way into the rotation, with that possibly coming at the expense of Roy Upchurch.
- The wide receiver corps also remains unchanged, with Mike McCoy & Earl Alexander on the outside and Darius Hanks in slot. Nikita Stover, Julio Jones & B.J. Scott are all getting consistent reps and appears to be set to be a part of the rotation, along with Brandon Gibson & Marquis Maze.
- Scott was able to go today without the brace or wrap on his right leg, further indicating that his hamstring injury was a minor one.
- There was still lots of 2 tight end work today with Nick Walker & Travis McCall ahead of Chris Underwood & Preston Dial. When McCall moved to the H-back in continued to be Underwood getting the spots at tight end.
- There was a change from recent days on the defensive line as Lorenzo Washington was back ahead of Josh Chapman, working with the first unit. Expect those two guys and Terrence Cody to establish a deep and talented rotation at the nose guard spot this year, turning what could have been a weakness for the Tide defense into what might be a real strength.
- The defensive ends continue to be Bobby Greenwood & Brandon Deaderick with Luther Davis & Alfred McCullough as the primary backups.
- There has been no movement with the 1st unit linebacker corps through the first group of practices. Brandon Fanney is still on top at the JACK, with Rolando McClain at the MIKE, Cory Reamer at the WILL & Chavis Williams at the SAM.
- The secondary also remains unchanged from the 1st day of camp with Kareem Jackson & Javier Arenas at the corners & Rashad Johnson & Justin Woodall at the safeties.
- Don't take the fact that more of the Tide's incoming class has not worked its way into starting roles as a bad thing. By all accounts many of the newcomers have looked great in their first 9 practices, but the returning guys from the spring have simply been better. That can only mean good things as the Tide will begin more specific work on Clemson as the opening of the season gets closer.
- The off day for the players on Sunday will not be shared by the Alabama coaching staff. They will spend the day studying the film from the practice, and (shudder the word) evaluating performance. This will not only give them an idea as to what they need to work on with specific guys in the next week, but could also result in the some moves on the depth chart when the players report back to work at 9:30 Monday morning.
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