09 October 2008
It was back into full pads for the Tide today, though the practice was still considerably different from a normal game week. There was a continued emphasis on fundamentals, as expect in an off week practice. Coach Saban is still adamant about the Tide's intensity level remaining high, so this was far from being a "light" practice. Instead it was a return to the tyoe of practices that were held during the first weeks of fall camp.
Andre Smith was back after missing yesterday's practice due to an illness, though he did wear a black no contact jersey. Whether that was due to the lingering effects of his being sick or the elbow injury he suffered on Saturday is unclear. The reality is that Andre needs to be 100% healthy the rest of the way for the Tide offense be successful, and it is not a surprise at all that he is getting a bit of a rest during the off week.
The injury news was better for Preston Dial (knee) and Mike McCoy (hamstring) who both missed the Kentucky game. They both participated fully in practice and should be ready to go against Ole Miss barring a setback. McCoy's loss was felt more than I had anticipated, and he should help Bama attack the very poor Rebel secondary.
Good news also for Earl Alexander who was in black for yesterday's practice with an undisclosed injury - we guess it's lingering effects from an ankle injury that caused him to miss a game earlier in the season. Earl was back working with the second unit wide receiver group.
For the second consecutive day we saw John Michael Boswell getting the first unit reps at right tackle while Drew Davis subbed for Andre Smith on the left side. It will be interesting to see if the coaches have the confidence in the true freshman to use him in a close game, though I would honestly rather see Smith and Davis take all of the meaningful snaps for the rest of the season.
Bama will have one more practice tomorrow before taking the weekend off and getting back to game week practice.