28 December 2009
The Alabama football team worked out in the brisk cold of Tuscaloosa on Monday afternoon. The practice was in shells, though the team was in sweat pants rather than the customary shorts.
Here's what you need to know:
James Carpenter was absent from the practice due to illness. He has the same flu bug that kept Drew Davis out of a practice last week. He'll be back as soon as he is healthy enough to go. Alfred McCullough worked with the first unit in his place. That should be an indication that he's expected back soon... while McCullough has had a great fall, either Davis or left guard Mike Johnson would like play left tackle if Carpenter had to miss the game.
Marquis Johnson worked with a wrap on his left hand. There have been rumors over the last week that he broke the thumb on that hand, with some indicating that he might have actually had surgery. There has been no confirmation of that, but the wrap on his hand today seems to indicate at least a little truth to those rumors.
While it would not be ideal for a defensive back to play with a wrap on his hand, Johnson should be able to play in his current condition.
There were several Bama players that wore scout team uniforms, indicated that Bama has, in fact, begun specific work on Texas.
They aren't doing any of that work when the media is still around, for obvious reasons, but it really isn't much of a surprise what Bama is doing.
There will be lots of nickel and dime work, with Texas running and offense that passes the football nearly 90% of the time. On offense, Bama will attempt to be as balanced as possible. Having said that, Bama will look to establish the run as quickly as possible. The Longhorns boast the nation's number one rush defense, which should provide plenty of motivation for the Bama rush offense.
The team appears to be completely ignoring all of the attention, especially all of the talk of Bama being a big favorite. They look to be extremely motivated and focused, which is exactly how you want your team to be during the bowl practice season.
Bama will practice again on Tuesday, and we'll have our normal report.
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