13 August 2010
The Alabama football team stayed outside for the second practice of the day on Thursday. With the morning practice being in pads, as is usually the case, the evening practing was in shells.
Here's what you need to know:
The injury situation still looks good.
Demetrius Goode is having some hamstring issues that are limiting him some, though he is cleared for contact. He is working at the back of the running back grouping in order to limit his reps.
Preston Dial was wearing a sleeve on his leg after missing practice on Wednesday. There's been no word on why he missed, but the sleeve indicates it could be some type of minor injury. He wasn't showing any noticeable limp, and he was not limited.
The staff is still being very cautious with DeQuan Menzie, and it would not surprise me at all if he were held out of Saturday's scrimmage. Once he is healthy, I don't think there's any question that he'll be among Bama's top four cornerbacks. But at this point he isn't healthy yet, and the staff is not going to push him too hard. They can afford to go a little slow with things this early in camp in the hopes that he can be closer to 100% by the time the season actually kicks off.
Coach Saban has praised the outside linebackers in recent days, while being a little less thrilled with the inside guys. That's a bit of shock to me, though, since Bama has more physical talent in the middle. The outside positions are backed up by guys like Chavis Williams and Alex Watkins who have been in the program for a while, though, while the inside positions are backed up by guys like Petey Smith and Jalston Fowler. If I had to guess, Coach Saban is sending a message to the younger guys inside that they need to battle and fight a little more when they start getting tired.
Having said that, he had more praise for Chris Jordan again today. Jordan is making a strong push for time at one of the inside spots, possibly even moving ahead of Nico Johnson. Defensive stats from scrimmages are misleading (really all stats are), so it will be difficult to tell much, but this could be one of the more intriguing position battles to watch over the next three weeks.
In the past this staff has used the first scrimmage to simulate a game weekend. They've done more of a walk-through type practice on Friday, taken the team to a movie, had their normal Friday night meetings, and traveled to the stadium the way that they will for a home game. I expect we'll see something similar to that this weekend. Don't expect to get a lot out of tomorrow's practice, as they'll certainly play things even closer to the vest than normal.
We'll give you any news from the practice, as well as a run down on how we think the position battles are shaping up leading into the first scrimmage of the fall.
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