25 March 2011
The Alabama football team held its second practice of the 2011 Spring Football Practice schedule on Wednesday. By rule the practice was in helmets and jerseys, as pads are not allowed for the first few practices. Sorry for the late report here. I didn't get in from the Bama basketball game until late, and today was one of those days.
Here's what you need to know:
Before getting in to the practice report, I do want to congratulate Anthony Grant and the Alabama basketball team on completing an undefeated 19-0 home schedule. Obviously there was a lot of disappointment in the Tide not making the NCAA Tournament this season, but the reality is that this team has overachieved in a huge way.
No one that saw this group play in late November saw them winning the SEC West. I was prepared for a 4 or 5 win SEC season. The fact that this team should have made the NCAA Tournament - and turned the negative of being left out into a trip to the NIT Final Four - speaks volumes about where Coach Grant has the program headed. The fact that over 8,600 people showed up for a Wednesday night NIT game tells me that the fans are ready to support this program the way it deserves to be supported.
As for the practice, there really wasn't much new to report. The Tide made it through the first practice without any medical issues. That's not tough to do when you aren't in pads, but the fact that no one missed practice #2 because of a tweaked hamstring or a pulled oblique is a good indication of the overall conditioning of the team.
Robby Green was absent from practice again, as he continues to sit out another suspension. If he's not back before the half way point in the spring, don't expect him to be back. That's not based on any inside information, but rather a gut feeling. When the scholarship numbers are tight, you can't follow a season-long suspension with another lengthy suspension and expect to still be around. He was a major contributor as a freshman, so my hope is that he is able to get things straightened out.
Mark Barron (pectoral muscle surgery), Nick Perry (shoulder), Jarrick Williams (shoulder), Jonathan Atchison (bicep), and Brad Smelley (wrist) were all still in black no contact jerseys. Barron likely won't be involved in contact all spring, but the other four guys will hopefully be back before the first scrimmage.
There were no noticable position changes from the first day of practice. That means that Blake Sims was still with the quarterbacks, Vinnie Sunseri still with the safeties, and Anthony Orr with the jack linebackers. The spring is the time when you see an awful lot of experimenting, so don't be shocked to see these guys move around a little. But the fact that they were there for another day means that the staff liked what they saw on the first day.
One guy that was absent both of the first two days that I did not mention yesterday was Glenn Harbin. He's been working with the Alabama baseball team, so it is not a shock that he has been absent from practices. From comments made by Coach Saban, I get the feeling that Glenn is moving on from football. We should hear something definitive on that during the summer.
There won't be a whole lot to report, especially on the organizational (depth) chart until the guys put on pads - at least shoulder pads. We could see them advance to wearing shells by Friday's practice, with the pads coming on next week. Once that happens we will likely see who made the biggest moves during the 4th Quarter Program.
The Tide will practice again on Friday and we'll have our normal report.
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