The Alabama Crimson Tide football team practiced on Friday at the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. That was preseason practice #12 for Alabama.
The players being talked about the most after practice #12 are LB-Dont’a Hightower, TE-Preston Dial, RB/QB/ATH-Blake Sims, CB-B.J. Scott, WR-Julio Jones, QB-A.J. McCarron, QB-Phillip Sims, OG-Chance Warmack
Nick Saban moved practices indoors for the final practice in preparation for Saturday’s initial scrimmage of preseason camp. The team also practice in shells in hopes of allowing the players to bounce back from this week’s two-a-days and extreme heat.
Much like last year, the first offensive line group has mainly stayed together from what we’ve seen and heard. In fact, this year the group has been together even longer, going back to the latter part of spring practices. A year ago, Barrett Jones didn’t settle into the RG spot until about three weeks left before the start of the season.
Players will move around some in drills but it appears the chemistry is growing with these five guys as a top-line unit, LT-James Carpenter, LG-Chance Warmack, C-William Vlachos, RG-Barrett Jones and RT-D.J. Fluker.
The depth on the offensive line at Alabama is almost three deep at every position. That’s the best depth in that area that this program has seen in quite a long time.
If the five players above open the season as the starting unit, it won’t be much of a surprise in my opinion.
Fan and media speculation of potentially moving Barrett Jones to LG in the spring didn’t match what offensive line coach Joe Pendry likes, experience next to youth.
The two positions with new young players are LG and RT. Moving Jones to the left side would put all your experience on the left side and two new starters on the right. That’s asking for mental errors, breakdowns in communication and a spot with a bulls eye for defenses to attack.
As it stands, Warmack is surrounded by two All-SEC (or better) players in James Carpenter and William Vlachos. D.J. Fluker has All-SEC (or better) lineman Barrett Jones to his left to help him out. It makes sense to keep Barrett Jones at RG where he has played so well. I believe, barring injury or regression of progress from the young guys, it will stay that way and work out extremely well once again for the Crimson Tide. I expect this unit to be one of the best in country for the three straight year. Recruiting and coaching are on display in the Crimson Tide offensive line on a daily basis.
For more on practice #12, Chris Walsh from Rivals’ BamaOnLine.com has these notes and observations.
The University of Alabama Media Relations Department issued the release below with more on the Crimson Tide’s Friday practice.
Football Practice Report
Tide Preps for First Scrimmage of Fall Camp
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team held a two-hour practice session in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) Friday afternoon. The practice is the final preparation for the team’s first scrimmage which will take place Saturday.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban elected to give the players a break from the West Alabama heat, which reached into the 100’s once again Friday, by moving practice into the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. Wednesday’s practice was also held in the air conditioned facility.
“I think that right now you always want to practice with safety and player’s safety in mind,” head coach Nick Saban said. “The way we practice has been good for us in terms of the history of keeping players healthy and being able to get them to improve as players.
“I don’t think there is anything you can do right now practicing in these circumstances, these conditions, this number of practices, going two-a-days, one-a-days, two-a-days, that the players are going to be fresh and be healthy and they’re not ready to play a game now. its how they recover after all that is over and how you allow them to recover when all that is over, that’s going to be the key of where you want them to be for the first game.”
The Crimson Tide will hit the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium tomorrow for the first scrimmage of fall camp. The scrimmage is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (CDT) and is closed to the public.
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