02 September 2009
The Alabama football team was inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility for the third consecutive day, in preparation for playing inside the Georgia Dome on Saturday. The team worked in shells today, and looks to be relatively healthy.
Here's what you need to know:
Brandon Deaderick was not only at practice today, but he participated. He was wearing a black no contact jersey, and a large wrap covering his entire left arm. Coach Saban said earlier today, "Obviously, he is probably out for Saturday." I'm betting he is out, but the fact that he was participating today sends a powerful message to his team mates about toughness.
Cory Reamer and A.J. McCarron were back at practice today after missing time with flu-like symptoms. At the moment it looks like everyone who has missed time with the illness is back and ready to go.
Mark Ingram and Julio Jones have been cleared to play. Gentry Estes of the Mobile-Press Register has that bit of info on his twitter feed. That is what has been expected, but it is a great piece of information that can let all us let out a huge sigh of relief.
Continuing our look at the depth chart:
Obviously things should change with Deaderick's situation, and it looks like Marcel Dareus is the guy who will fill in. Otherwise, there were a couple of surprises on the chart along the line.
Milton Talbert spent all of fall camp working with the jack linebackers, but he's on the chart at end. That is likely in order to keep William Ming, Brandon Moore, and Chris Bonds from having to play, so that those guys can take redshirts.
Throughout all of camp Kerry Murphy worked at end and Darrington Sentimore worked at nose guard. On the depth chart they have switched places. My guess is that both guys are capable of playing all three positions. Of course, since they are third at their positions, they aren't likely to play a whole lot.
The only real surprises here actually came a few days before the chart was released - Alex Watkins at sam and Damion Square at jack.
The fact that Watkins appeared on the chart ahead of Chavis Williams is intriguing. Watkins has been buried at the jack, and a late move to the same looks to have paid off. He's an athletic kid that could see playing time, especially if Reamer continues to struggle with the flu.
Square is certainly big enough to play the jack in the same style that Brandon Fanney played it in 2008. The good news is that he is also a good enough athlete that he could be more dynamic than Fanney. He's still behind Eryk Anders and Courtney Upshaw, so it's unlikely he'll play a lot in 2009. It's still an intriguing development for the future.
The two interior spots fell pretty much exactly how everyone expected them to.
So the answer to the "who will replace Rashad Johnson?" question is Justin Woodall. Mark Barron claimed the other safety spot ahead of Robby Green. While Green is listed as the backup to Woodall, I'm guessing that he is the third safety, and if Barron came out, we would see Woodall slide over to make room for him.
Otherwise the secondary fell as expected. Coach Saban is pretty hands-on with the defensive backs, so it really isn't a surprise that most of this position was settled early.
I'll be heading to Atlanta tomorrow. Combine that with the fact that Thursday and Friday practices in season are 100% closed, and there will be no practice report for the next two days.
If news comes out about anything, we'll be sure to let you know.
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