09 September 2009
The Alabama football team was in full pads again today as it continued its preparation for Florida International. The squad was able to wrap up practice just prior to a late afternoon thunderstorm in Tuscaloosa.
Here’s what you need to know:
Mark Ingram was absent from practice while being treated for the flu. It is unclear at this point whether he actually has the flu, or if he is just being treated for it. His roommate is Star Jackson, who just missed two days of practice with the flu, and coach Saban indicated that the medical staff immediately begins treating a player if his roommate has had it.
Star Jackson was back at practice today after missing Monday and Tuesday, and was working with the second unit at quarterback.
Brandon Deaderick was absent again today, though it is not related to health. He had a death in the family and has been excused from practice to deal with that. The funeral was expected to be today, and he should be back at practice tomorrow.
Despite a lot of worry that Marquis Maze had been injured in practice earlier in the week, he continues to work in a white jersey – signifying that he has been cleared for contact. He might have suffered some type of small injury, but he has practiced through it.
Terry Grant continued to work with the wide receivers for the third consecutive day. Whether he remains at the position full-time, or just works there this weekend remains to be seen. My guess is that we will, at the very least, see him as the motion guy in the wildcat formation. It would essentially give him the ball in a jet sweep from the receiver position, and hopefully allow him to quickly hit the corner. As the “receiver” with the most experience taking handoffs, this would make sense.
While the coaching staff is adament that they are expecting a tough game this week, if all goes well, there will be some decisions that have to be made on Saturday. If the Tide is able to build a big lead, allowing for more players to play, then decisions will have to be made regarding true freshmen.
Just two true freshmen (Trent Richardson and Rod Woodson) played last Saturday, so all other guys are still eligible for redshirts. We did see Tyler Love and Barrett Jones get medical redshirts after participating in early season games in 2008, so a guy playing this weekend doesn’t necessarily cost him a year of eligibility. But unless an injury comes about, a guy playing this weekend should make him a sophomore next year.
With that in mind, it should be interesting to see which guys play – IF the opportunity comes up. Coach Saban is saying all of the right things to the media about respecting FIU, and I’m sure he’s reminding the team about Louisiana-Monroe. So I’m certain that the team is not making plans for a blow-out.
Since our opinion about things like that has no bearing ont he outcome of things on Saturday, and we’re here to have discussions about Alabama football… well, talking about things like this is a luxury that I have. With that in mind, the guys I think most likely to see time if the Tide is able to open a big lead:
- Nico Johnson and Tana Patrick – these guys looked great at the mike and will positions all camp, and I expect the staff would like to get them some game experience.
- Dre Kirkpatrick – he’s just simply too talented to keep off of the field for very long. If Bama is up big, FIU will likely be passing the ball, creating opportunities for the nickel and dime packages.
- Kevin Norwood – while the Tide likely won’t pass the ball much in this scenario, getting Norwood game reps would help his development.
- Chance Warmack or Anthony Steen – one of these two guys has worked with the second unit offensive line for the last three weeks, so one of them would see time with the second unit line.
- D.J. Fluker – I just don’t see it likely that he redshirts, so the sooner he sees the field, the better.
Bama’s practices on Thursday and Friday will be 100% closed, so there will be no practice reports. Having said that, we hope to have our new-look site ready to go by then. If so, there will a forum available for you guys to discuss things. And if you have any questions for the BSR staff, we’ll be perusing the forum as well.
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