17 November 2009
The Alabama football team was back in action on the practice field on Tuesday afternoon. The Tide worked outside in full pads as they continued their prep for Chattanooga.
Here's what you need to know:
Eryk Anders was cleared for full contact after being in a black no contact jersey during Monday's practice. He's got a tender ankle, but he's a senior, and Senior Day is coming up. It's not tough to figure out that he'll play. How much he'll play will be a different story.
The news on Terry Grant is not as good, as he missed yet another practice with a muscle pull. Grant hasn't been a major contributor this year outside of special teams, but given Bama's struggles on kick coverage in Starkville, special teams needs a boost.
On a week like this, no news is good news. When you are preparing for a FCS team, you want a quiet week... one where no one gets hurt, no one gets in trouble, and everything builds smoothly towards a nice, casual win on Saturday. Through two days of the week, that's where Bama sits, and that's a good thing.
Wednesday's practices tend to be a bit more intense, and we'll likely see that be the case again this week. The team's focus has been good through the first two days, which is a good sign. These guys seem to be really zoned in to what they need to do each and every day. That's a trait found almost universally on championship teams, and the fact that Bama seems to really live that gives me hope that the Tide will continue its championship run.
Greg McElroy has developed a rhythm with Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks over the last two weeks, and that looks to be something that the staff will continue to work. Hanks' touchdown reception set up the later one for Julio Jones, demonstrating fully why it is so important for Bama to have more than one receiving threat. The fact that Bama has had three guys in each of the last two games can really make things interesting... if it continues.
Getting a healthy Colin Peek back into the passing game could give Bama four legitimate passing threats (five if you include Mark Ingram). The next three defenses that Bama will face are good at stopping the pass. Chattanooga gives up 163.9 passing yards per game, while Auburn gives up 189.45 per game, and Florida allows just 139.6.
The Tide must continue the recent upward swing of solid and effecient passing if they want to head to Pasadena.
Bama will head back to the practice field on Wednesday for the final "open" practice of the week. We'll have our normal report.
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