21 September 2009
While the rain held off during Alabama's 53-7 win over North Texas on Saturday, the Tide football team had no such luck today. The weather in Tuscaloosa is downright awful, and really isn't expected to improve until later in the week. So expect to see a lot of use of the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility.
Today's indoor practice was in shells, and here's what you need to know:
Demetrius Goode (knee) and Kenny Bell (shin splints) were in black no contact jerseys. The staff is optimistic that Goode could be back as early as mid-week, but there is no time table set for Bell.
You might have noticed that there were two big names missing from the above statement - Julio Jones and Roy Upchurch. While Coach Saban indicated that both guys will be re-evaluated after each practice to guage their health, they both practiced today. While Bama didn't miss a beat against the Mean Green without them, the Tide offense is certainly better with them.
While Julio did wear a small brace on his right knee, he showed no ill effects of the deep bruise that kept him sidelined against North Texas. The week off might have done wonders for a guy who has been beated up pretty badly during his Alabama career. He's likely aware of how long its been since he found the end zone, so I expect we'll see a fierce intensity heading into this week.
Terry Grant is still working at running back, even with Upchurch back. This could be a reaction to Goode being out, and Bama wanting to have four game-ready tail backs. It could also be an indication that Terry is finding a role as a running back. While it has come mostly against two Sun Belt teams, Terry has averaged 5.6 yards per carry, and is tied for the team lead with three touchdowns. I still expect he'll have a limited role, but if he is able to return to receiver, it could certainly make that role more varied.
While there is no danger of Greg McElroy losing his starting job, there appeared to be a new energy for Star Jackson today. He saw his most important game action on Saturday, and had his first eight Tide completions. It's tough for the backup quarterback to feel involved in an offense that has a standout starter, and Star seems to having been energized by the extent of his playing time.
Bama will practice again tomorrow afternoon, and I expect it will be inside again. We'll have our normal report.
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