19 October 2010
The Alabama football team practiced in shells on Monday in preparation for the Tennessee Volunteers.
Here's what you need to know:
First and foremost, I hate orange. Hate it.
D.J. Fluker was in a black jersey as he continues to battle back from a groin injury. Alfred McCullough played well in his place against Ole Miss, and will get the nod this weekend, as well. The staff is hopefully that Fluker can be ready by LSU.
Eddie Lacy was also in a black jersey nursing a leg injury that he suffered in the Ole Miss game. He was held out of the last two kickoffs, though he attempted to go out for the first one. It should be interesting to see how this one progresses through the week.
Julio Jones worked in a normal white jersey and went through all of the team drills. It looks like he'll be good to go for this Saturday.
Otherwise, Bama should have its full compliment of players in the final game prior to the off week. The team is not what I would consider to be healthy right now, with a lot of guys nursing minor injuries - especially Courney Upshaw and Marcell Dareus. The off week isn't just a chance to adjust schemes and get to some basics, but it's a chance for guys to get healthy and to rest. Bama is a tired football team right now, and that showed on Saturday against Ole Miss.
So this weekend should be a good indicator for this team in terms of mental fortitude. Will they come out and play with fire and intensity, knowing that they'll get a week to rest following the game? Or will they come out and play flat, uninspired football? Thankfully Tennessee is likely not good enough to give the team a good game either way, but it would be nice to dispose of the Vols early and empty Neyland Stadium by the end of third quarter.
Based on comments from coaches and players, we should see Bama stretch the field a little more on offense this weekend. There has been a lot of talk of "trusting" the scheme and "trusting" each other, with a lot of it seeming to point towards the lack of any type of downfield passing game. That attack typically opens up more running lanes, and Bama is in desperate need of reigniting a rushing attack that has been a bit anemic the past two weeks.
The Tide will practice again on Tuesday, likely in full pads. We'll have our normal report.
And in case you forgot already, I hate orange.
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