22 August 2011
The University of Alabama football team held its final scrimmage of the 2011 fall camp on Saturday. The scrimmage, held at Bryant-Denny Stadium, lasted right about two hours and was viewed by members of Alabama's "A Club".
Here's what you need to know:
Bama's health is great heading into the start of the fall season practice schedule. The only player injured during the fall camp that is likely to miss any time due to his injury is redshirt freshman defensive tackle Brandon Ivory. He sprained a knee during the final week, and while Coach Saban indicated that he would likely not have surgery, I doubt we'll see him play during the first couple of weeks of the season.
Arie Kouandjio has an issue with a knee (patella tendon), but he's expected to be practicing when the Tide gets going again on Tuesday. Dre Kirkpatrick has a leg contusion, but he was actually cleared for contact during the scrimmage. As a precaution, the staff held him out anyway.
Dont'a Hightower had surgery to repair a fractured bone in his hand, but he's already working with only a wrap.
Obviously the pre-camp loss of Dee Hart will be a felt, as the true freshman appeared to be set for playing time. But that's Bama's only major injury of fall camp. And that's certainly good news.
Much like the first scrimmage, the staff was reluctant to release any statistics. We got some basic rushing numbers for Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy that tell us nothing other than the fact that Lacy is healthy enough to participate. But for the second straight scrimmage there were no quarterback stats released.
In talking with those who viewed the scrimmage, it is apparent that A.J. McCarron took the first snap. Before you start thinking that means he is the starting quarterback, the two guys worked evenly with the first and second team offenses. It's not just lip service for the media - the staff is truly not set on which guy will be the starter. We will see both guys early against Kent State, probably against Penn State, and definitely again against North Texas. Hopefully we'll see one of the two emerge prior to the beginning of conference play with Arkansas in week four.
As expected, Quinton Dial worked with the first unit defensive line alongside Josh Chapman and Damion Square. Ed Stinson and Jesse Williams also worked with the first unit at times, as it looks like Bama is set to be very deep at defensive line.
With Alex Watkins still a little limited after off-season knee surgery, redshirt freshman Adrian Hubbard has been getting more looks at jack linebacker. He's impressed so far and could get time in specialty packages because of his ability to rush the quarterback.
Barrett Jones worked with the first team offensive line at left tackle, and then slid in to left guard to give Cyrus Kouandjio some reps with the first unit. That situation will likely remain fluid leading up to the first game, and we'll almost certainly see Cyrus get some time in the first half of the Kent State game.
There has been no official word on Duron Carter's eligibility. His father Cris was at Friday's practice and Saturday's scrimmage, and most people are viewing that as a good sign. My guess is that we'll likely hear something Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning, and that we'll see Duron at practice on Tuesday. It's possible that the staff could hold him until Wednesday, so that he joins the team with the other 30-40 guys that will start practicing once school starts. He, obviously, has to be admitted first, though. Classes start on Wednesday, and the final day to enroll is the follow Wednesday - the 31st.
Otherwise, Bama will enjoy off days on Sunday and Monday before getting back to work on Tuesday. Coach Saban has indicated that the team will likely begin preparation for Kent State on Saturday or Sunday, which means that Tuesday through Friday will be used for fundamental work. We'll probably see the team go in shorts and helmets for two days, and then shells for two days. If that plays out, they'll go in full pads on Saturday. The staff probably won't call that a scrimmage, but that's essentially what it will be.
Once the team gets into game preparation, information becomes even harder to come by. Considering that there is typically very little real information after each practice now, that's saying something. Obviously we're not going to report anything that might give one of Bama's upcoming opponent any type of advantage, but we'll have our normal in-season reports.
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