01 December 2009
The Alabama football team has practice number two of the week on Tuesday afternoon. Once again the Tide was inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility, though the Tide was in full pads today.
Here's what you need to know:
For the second consecutive day, Mark Ingram was cleared for contact and led the running backs through individual drills. It looks like Bama's leading rusher will play on Saturday, needing just 45 yards to set the school's single-season rushing record.
Cory Reamer was also running in his normal spot for the second consecutive day. With Bama expected to play a lot of nickel and dime this week, Reamer will likely see most of his playing time at the will linebacker. Nico Johnson got those snaps against Auburn, but managed just one PBU and no tackles. Johnson is a talented player, but stopping Florida's offense will require complete discipline within the system. Reamer is far more experienced, and Bama needs him to play in the game.
Terry Grant continues to work with the running backs free of his black no contact jersey, but he isn't doing a whole lot. It looks doubtful that Grant will play this weekend. While that doesn't figure to factor much into the Tide's offensive gameplan, it does affect both the kickoff return and coverage teams.
Thomas Darrah survived Monday's practice emulating Tim Tebow on the scout team, and he was running in that spot once again. Bama was in shells yesterday, so there probably wasn't a lot of full-speed hitting going on. As much as folks have joked about things, don't expect to see Darrah injured. The way that Bama hits in practice - "thudding" rather than tackling - is specifically designed to keep people from getting hurt.
The scout team quarterback wearing Tebow's jersey is, as I said yesterday, a subtle reminder to the players that the upcoming quarterback is a real threat to run the ball. In fact, he's more of a threat to run than he is to throw. This is a move designed to prepare the Tide mentally for that fact - because, as strength coach Scott Cochran would say, "You've Got To Get Your Miiiiiiiiiiiind Right!"
The big news of the day came from Florida's camp, as the Gators' star defensive end Carlos Dunlap was suspended due to an arrest for DUI. With linebacker A.J. Jones also out due to injury, the Gators will be down two defensive starters in the game. Much like Bama with Dont'a Hightower, though, there are very solid players ready to step in at each position. There will be a dropoff at both positions, though.
Dunlap is fifth in the SEC in sacks, and is probably the Gators' best end against the run. Next to Brandon Spikes and Joe Haden, he is probably their third best overall talent on that side of the ball. His loss likely won't change the way that Bama prepares, but it could certainly have an affect on the way that Bama schemes.
There has been a lot of talk this week about stopping Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez. He's a real game-changer, ranking 4 in the SEC in receptions and10th in the SEC in receiving yards. To help prepare for that type of athletic play-maker, Bama used freshman wide receiver Michael Bowman on the scout team. While Bowman is two inches taller than Hernandez, the Gator tight end outweighs Bowman by nearly 30 pounds. He does give the defense a decent approximation of overall size and athleticism, though.
Bama will practice again tomorrow for the final "open" practice before the bowl practice begins. We'll have our normal report, though it may follow the basketball game against North Florida. Tip-off for that game is at 7 p.m., and if you are in the Tuscaloosa area, you should try to make it to watch Anthony Grant's team play.
And... I hate orange.
|< Prev||Next >|