09 August 2008
We're going to have to look at these two early scrimmages and make evaluations a little more like you would when you cut your team in the NFL. Sometimes you don't keep all the best players because some younger players might be not quite as good as the veteran players at the time, but you've got to make a decision to invest your time in certain guys who may be able to develop and make you a better team over time. And I think some of those decisions are going to have to be made early in this camp.That's a pretty strong statement, indicating that there may soon be an emphasis put on the future of the program, possibly giving some younger guys the opportunity to grow into their roles, rather than let an upper-classmen who might be better initially continue to play it. That could be bad news for guys like Brandon Fanney or Roy Upchurch who are trying to put inconsistency behind them. With them being pushed by younger guys like Alex Watkins, Courtney Upshaw & Mark Ingram this could be a "writing on the wall" situation. Here are the statistical leaders from the scrimmage: PASSING John Parker Wilson - 17-30-2 - 309 yards & 2 TDs Greg McElroy - 9-18-0 - 146 yards Those aren't blisteringly great numbers for either guy, though 57% for John Parker is a bit better than last season's 55.2%. RUSHING Glen Coffee - 14 rushes - 42 yards, 1 TD Mark Ingram - 11 rushes - 42 yards, 1 TD Terry Grant - 9 rushes - 32 yards, 0 TD As we indicated earlier, Ingram is starting to get more and more carries with the first unit, and looks to be working his way into the rotation ahead of Upchurch. RECEIVING Glen Coffee - 6 rec - 79 yards Mike McCoy - 3 rec - 119 yards - 1 TD Mark Ingram - 3 rec - 31 yards Colin Peek - 3 rec - 27 yards Marquis Maze - 2 rec - 74 yards Julio Jones - 2 rec - 59 yards - 1 TD It's very telling that Coffee was the leader in receptions, followed by Ingram & Peek. The backs and tight ends will be a much larger part of the passing attack this season. It's also nice to see Julio Jones making an early impact. DEFENSIVE STATISTICS Charlie Higgenbotham - 8 tackles Rolando McClain - 5 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 Int., 1 PBU Don'ta Hightower - 5 tackles; 1 TFL Ali Sharrief - 5 tackles, 1 PBU Eryk Anders - 4 tackles, 2 TFLs Rashad Johnson - 4 tackles, 1 Int., 2 PBUs Hightower was singled out by the coach in his press conference, and the numbers bear that out. Higgenbotham had a huge A-Day and has backed that up with a good first scrimmage. Those are both pieces of good news for Alabama's depleted linebacker corps. From a special teams standpoint: Leigh Tiffin was 3 for 5, with makes from 23, 38 & 48 yards, and misses from 38 & 51. P.J. Fitzgerald punted 7 times for an average of 42.6 yards - GREAT news.
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