26 August 2010
The Crimson Tide practiced in full pads outdoors this afternoon in Tuscaloosa. It was a relatively mild afternoon by Tuscaloosa in August standards, and the Tide took advantage of the weather by busting it extra hard this afternoon.
Here's what we learned today.
Chris Jordan talked about playing the Mike position with the second team, and mentioned that he was learning more about leading the defense and helping to become more of a Dont'a Hightower type player when Hightower slides outside.
Jordan also highlighted something that is important to remember - all the linebacker positions are moving around, and no one should read too much into those moves. It's more about helping players to learn positions.
Which takes us right into the fact that DeMarcus Milliner worked at first team corner in the nickel package. This should NOT be taken as gospel that Milliner will be playing first team. It's more about the fact that Milliner has missed work in recent days with an injury, and now he needs the extra repetitions. That's what Nick Saban means when he talks about "organizational groupings" not translating to a depth chart.
You can also chalk that same reasoning up to the reason that D.J. Fluker was back with the first unit today. Clearly, someone on the staff thought that Alfred McCullough needed more work, and he'd worked with the first unit for the last few days.
Coach Saban called this a productive week - and noted that the Tide had really made a transition to more of a game preparation mode, as opposed to a "camp" mode for the first few days of this week.
Kendall Kelly is back, after battling "heat issues" for the last few weeks. He's still getting some looks in the secondary, and Coach Saban noted that it was getting close to "D-Day" for when decisions about positions need to be made.
Despite lots of news from the Carolinas, there's no additional news about the eligibility of Marcell Dareus. As nxojkt mentioned earlier in the week, the fact that Dareus continues to practice with the first team is a good sign that the staff feels that the impact won't be long term from any sanction.
William Vlachos was placed on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy today. The trophy is awarded to the most outstanding center in the nation, and Vlachos is clearly a great anchor for the Tide offensive line.
Finally, Anthony Grant released the Tide's basketball schedule for 2010-11 today, and it's not got a lot of surprises. The home schedule seems to be built to allow the Tide to get some relatively easy games in early on and work on rebuilding in the upcoming season.
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