13 October 2009
Despite the threat of inclimate weather in Tuscaloosa today, the Crimson Tide football team practiced outside. The Tide was in full pads for day two of its prep for Homecoming and the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Here's what you need to know:
Rod Woodson looks to be out for Saturday's game, as he continues to work in a black jersey with an injury to his patella tendon. Coach Saban had indicated that he likely won't be back until next week.
Joining him in black was tight end Undra Billingsley. His injury is undisclosed at this point, and this is his first day in a black jersey. Billingsley briefly saw action in the North Texas game, and if this injury is enough to keep him out for any real time, he could receive a medical redshirt, similar to Barrett Jones and Tyler Love last season.
Jerrell Harris continues to work with the first unit at the will linebacker during the media viewing period. Nico Johnson is still working with the second group as the two battle for the nod this Saturday. It is important to note that these guys could be working completely different when the media viewing period is over.
With one #5 looking to be back in the lineup, the Tide's other #5 - Roy Upchurch - is trying to work his way back into the offense. He's been able to play on special teams, but his ankle injury has kept him limited in the running back rotation. Since missing a game with his injury he has caught a couple of passes, and run the ball one time. But that role is drastically different when he healthy, especially on third down.
In yesterday's report I questioned what Bama would do with the linebackers in the nickel package, and during the media viewing period it was Cory Reamer staying on the field. His overall experience at a number of different positions - including safety - give him a huge advantage over all of the other linebackers vying for time in the nickel. Harris could have gotten more work there after the media viewing period, but I'm betting Reamer is the guy.
It is worth noting that the Tide is past the half way point of the season, and there are no major question marks. Sure, we'd like to see kickoff coverage improve, and red zone offense could be a bit better. But given that the Tide had major question marks at quarterback and on the offensive line heading into the season, things appear to be in great shape heading into the second half.
Tennessee is still looking for a consistent offense. Georgia and Arkansas are looking for a defense. And Alabama is plowing forward, beginning to earn the respect of the national media. It's a good time to be a Bama fan.
Alabama will practice again on Wednesday, and we'll have our normal report.
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