19 August 2011
The University of Alabama football team practiced on Friday in preparation for the final scrimmage of the 2011 fall camp. As expected, the practice was held in shells, and the staff moved the practice inside to give the players a bit more of a break from the heat.
Here's what you need to know:
The health situation remains good. Arie Kouandjio (knee) and Brandon Ivory (knee) were in black no contact jerseys, while Dre Kirpatrick was in red but was extremely limited. All three guys are expected to miss Saturday's scrimmage, but should be good to go when the Tide practices again on Tuesday.
With Arie Kouandjio not participating in drills, it was Tyler Love who took the second team reps at right tackle. Alfred McCullough would still likely be the guy to take game snaps there if D.J. Fluker were to be injured, but he continues to work at left guard.
Everything else was as it has been for the last week. That's a good indication that the staff has identified who is capable of playing and making an impact and who is not. Certainly that can change, and any guys on the fringe will have a big opportunity to do so in the final scrimmage of camp on Saturday. But when there is not a lot of movement between the two fall scrimmages, it's a good sign that everything is moving forward as the staff expected it to. And that's a good thing.
Also as expected, Bama went through full game-week preparation, including a team trip to the movie theatre prior to a game. This attention to detail is one of the many things that separates Coach Saban from a lot of other coaches. When the Tide gets ready to play its first game, there will be nothing new for the players except for the 100,000+ crowd.
Answering a question from yesterday's report... Dee Hart had surgery to repair a torn ACL and is not practicing in any capacity. Coach Saban indicated a week ago that the staff hoped to have him back at practice by November. That seems to indicate that the staff will likely redshirt him.
Things will likely continue to change a bit over the next couple of weeks leading up to the first game, especially if Duron Carter is cleared to play. But as of right now, this is the depth chart as we think it would be if the Tide were playing its first game tomorrow:
Quarterback - Phillip Sims, A.J. McCarron, Blake Sims, Phillip Ely - the difference between #1 and #2 is still small, and I think on the first official depth chart we'll still see an "or" between their names.
Running back - Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Jalston Fowler, Blake Sims, Brent Calloway
Tight End (Y) - Michael Williams, Brian Vogler, Malcolm Faciane
Tight End (H) - Brad Smelley, Chris Underwood, Harrison Jones
Wide Receiver (Z) - Marquis Maze, Ronald Carswell, Bradley Sylve, Christion Jones
Wide Receiver (X) - DeAndrew White, Michael Bowman, Marvin Shinn - this is where Carter will likely go when he becomes eligible.
Wide Receiver (H) - Brandon Gibson, Kevin Norwood, Kenny Bell - Darius Hanks would be the starter if he were eligible to play in week one.
Left Tackle - Barrett Jones, Cyrus Kouandjio, Austin Shepherd
Left Guard - Chance Warmack, Alfred McCullough, Chad Lindsay
Center - William Vlachos, Kellen Williams, Isaac Luatua
Right Guard - Anthony Steen, John Michael Boswell, Ryan Kelly
Right Tackle - D.J. Fluker, Arie Kouandjio, Tyler Love
Left Defensive End - Quinton Dial, Ed Stinson, Undra Billingsley, Brandon Lewis, Anthony Orr, D.J. Pettway
Nose Guard - Josh Chapman, Nick Gentry, LaMichael Fanning - Brandon Ivory would be third, but his knee injury is likely severe enough to keep him out for a few weeks.
Right Defensive End - Damion Square, Jesse Williams, Chris Bonds, Jeoffrey Pagan, Wilson Love
Jack Linebacker - Courtney Upshaw, Adrian Hubbard, Xzavier Dickson, William Ming
Mike Linebacker - Dont'a Hightower, Chris Jordan, Trey DePriest
Will Linebacker - Nico Johnson, C.J. Mosely, Tana Patrick - Johnson would start in the base 3-4, Mosley would start in the nickel.
Sam Linebacker - Jerrell Harris, Alex Watkins, Jonathan Atchison
Left Corner - DeMarcus Milliner, DeQuan Menzie, Phelon Jones - Milliner would slide to the star position in the nickel with Menzie outside at corner.
Free Safety - Mark Barron, Jarrick Williams, Hasean Clinton-Dix - Clinton-Dix might get an early look at the money position in the dime defense.
Strong Safety - Robert Lester, Will Lowery, Nick Perry, Vinnie Sunseri - there is intense competition behind Lester for this backup spot between all three guys, and Clinton-Dix might be involved here, as well.
Right Corner - Dre Kirkpatrick, John Fulton, Jabriel Washington
I still think that we'll see Marquis Maze be the primary return guy for both kick-offs and punts, though DeAndrew White, Christion Jones, and Bradley Sylve will be in the mix for kick-offs. The punting job is still Cody Mandell's to lose to Jay Williams, and we will likely see Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley split the place kicking duties.
I don't expect that we'll see any of this change much, even when the rosters expand on Wednesday. Duron Carter will be the biggest addition, and he would likely change the way that the wide receiver rotation sets up. Otherwise, don't be shocked if this is how things look on the first official depth chart that we get on August 29.
Bama will scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Deny Stadium before taking Sunday and Monday off. Tuesday's practice will be the final practice of the fall camp, with classes starting on Wednesday. At that point the roster will expand to include a lot more walk-ons, and after a few fundamentally based practices, the Tide will begin actual game preparations for Kent State.
We'll have our normall reports.
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