08 September 2009
The Alabama team was back in full pads for Tuesday's practice. With Monday having been spent on correcting mistakes made in Saturday's game, today was full-on preparation for Florida International. After having spent the entire week last week inside the Hank W. Crisp Indoor Practice Facility to prepare for playing in the Georgia Dome, the team has been outside this week.
Here's what you need to know:
Three Bama players were absent from practice today - Mark Ingram, Brandon Deaderick, and Star Jackson. Jackson missed yesterday's practice with the flu, but there has been no confirmation from the UA staff as to why Ingram or Deaderick were absent today. All three absences were listed as excused.
With Ingram out, and Terry Grant working with the receivers for the second consecutive day, there were a lot of reps for Roy Upchurch and Trent Richardson. The duo combined for just 10 carries on Saturday, but also combined for 100 yards. I don't expect to see Ingram carry the ball 26 times in a game again this season, so these two guys getting extra work is a positive thing.
With Deaderick out, we continued to see Marcell Dareus at right defensive end. And with all respect to Deaderick - who showed a new level of toughness last week - Dareus is going to be hard to remove the starting lineup. Having both of those guys healthy and ready to go on game days will make the defensive line that much better, though.
The offensive line spent a good amount of time working on shotgun formations, and specifically the shotgun snap. William Vlachos struggled with the deep snaps in the first half of Saturday's game, and it destroyed the timing of a lot of Bama's runs from the formation. His snaps improved in the second half, and conversely, so did the rushing attack from the shotgun.
The second unit offensive line saw a little bit of a different group. John Michael Boswell moved over to left guard, which allowed Chance Warmack to slide up to the second unit at right guard. Brian Motley moved back to the third unit at left guard, which moved Anthony Steen over to the right.
There was some expected good news from the SEC office today, when head of officials Rogers Reading announced that there would be no further penalty for Rolando McClain. There was some internet consternation that McClain might face some type of discipline for his reaction to his personal foul call - specifically him having made contact with an official. Redding said:
I think the officials handled it appropriately at the time. From our point of view, it's over and done with.
There is no update on the status of Jerrell Harris, and folks at Bama are not talking. That doesn't mean much, other than the fact that there simply isn't anything to say. He is currently suspended, and will remain that way until the NCAA rules on his eligibility.
While Coach Saban would call it "one of those external factors that don't matter," Bama did move up to fourth in both the AP and Coach's Polls. In the AP Poll the Tide received two first place votes - Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News and Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Tomorrow will be the last practice of the week that has media access, and we'll have our normal report.
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