The Alabama Crimson Tide football team practiced Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. That was preseason practice #17 for Alabama.
The players being talked about the most after practice #17 are CB/RB-Corey Grant, CB-DeQuan Menzie, S-Will Lowery, LB-Chris Jordan, LB-C.J. Mosley, TE/WR-Michael Bowman, S-Robby Green, the new players added to the roster with school starting
Special teams is going to be really interesting. Anytime you play in the SEC, where close games are common place, and have question marks and inexperienced kickers, you’re playing with fire.
The two scholarship true freshmen, PK-Cade Foster and P-Jay Williams have big legs and big upsides. They clearly need to improve on their consistency, maturity and performance under pressure when the lights are on and thousands are watching. You would expect both to win their respective jobs but if one or both falter, Nick Saban will not hesitate to use PK-Jeremy Shelley on extra points and short field goal attempts or P-Cody Mandell situationally at the very least.
The coverage units will be young and talented once again. The defense has been so good the last two years that they have bailed out the special teams units after giving up some long returns. Early in the season, those coverage units can’t afford to put the young defense in those kind of predicaments too often.
The return units will great regardless of who does it. It appears Julio Jones and Marquis Maze are strong candidates to return punts with Trent Richardson and Julio Jones the top candidates to return kickoffs. Can you imagine Richardson in the open field with a running start and Julio Jones is out in front blocking for him. We may see some guys slide out of the way of those two with a clear path to the endzone. It will be fun to watch. There are so many other guys that can do it that we see some others get looks on returns.
Nick Saban is confident in long snapper Carson Tinker so everyone else should be too.
The holders in practice seen so far have been QB-A.J. McCarron and WR-Rob Ezell.
For more on practice #17, Chris Walsh from Rivals’ BamaOnLine.com has these notes and observations.
Here’s a photo gallery of scenes from Wednesday’s practice taken by T.J. Paschal of Rivals’ BOL.
Check out a preview of the 2010 season of SEC football from the SEC Examiner.
The University of Alabama Media Relations Department issued the release below with more on the Crimson Tide’s Wednesday practice.
Tide Practices In Full Pads On Wednesday
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team returned to the Thomas-Drew practice facility Wednesday afternoon for a two-hour workout after inclement weather forced the Crimson Tide indoors on Tuesday.
With the start of fall classes at the Capstone on Wednesday, players enter the next phase leading up to the Sept. 4 opener against San Jose State at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“When school starts we’re on a different program,” head coach Nick Saban said. “We start a little bit later and practice a little later. It’s always a little bit of a transition when you make this change, but hopefully we’ll show some maturity in how we do it, the habits that we can develop and the routine that we can develop as a team.”
Along with the start of classes comes an expansion of the 105-man roster with additional walk-ons. Saban, who was walk-on at Kent State before earning a scholarship, recognized the importance of the extra players in his post-practice press conference on Tuesday.
“I have a lot of compassion for guys who really want to play the game,” Saban said. “Those who love the game and are willing to go out every day and try to get themselves better to see if they have an opportunity to contribute to the team some day, but are also willing to give themselves to help the other guys on the team.”
Alabama will practice on Thursday and Friday at 3:30 p.m. before holding the fall’s final scrimmage on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. All practices are closed to the public.
Tide fans can get an inside look at Alabama’s fall camp with ESPN’s Training Days: Rolling with the Alabama Crimson Tide. The hour-long program will air again Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
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