Alabama starts preparations for Tennessee
Its Tennessee week at the Capstone, but the third Saturday in October (actually fourth Saturday this year) does not have the full meaning that it used to. I can remember when former players used to come back on campus to help motivate and inspire the current players. Cigar shops started stocking up in anticipation of huge sales throughout the week and fans would ban anything orange. But this week it seems to be more business as usual for the team and QB AJ McCarron summed it up with “I play on this team, so every week is rivalry week to me because it’s the next opponent on the list and they’re trying to keep us from our goal, so it really doesn’t matter to me.” McCarron said. “Just another week, another game. That’s the way we need to prepare for it.”
Alabama was back in helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts on Monday’s practice to kick off preparations for Vols. The Tide was outside in the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility on a semi cloudy, very typical, fall day.
The defensive secondary has their work cut out for them this week as Vinnie Sunseri is now out for the season with knee surgery to repair ligaments and Bradley Sylve is sporting the black non-contact jersey with a high ankle sprain. Having Haha Clinton-Dix back in a safety will help with experience, but even with Landon Collins and new freshmen getting more experience, the DB’s are a little thin. Coach Saban was watching technique very closely during the drills today and correcting when needed.
The offensive line was on the main practice field in their normal spot with Center Ryan Kelly being, as Saban says, “a full go” this week. Kelly had his right knee wrapped under the usual braces during the practice. It’s still unclear whether or not Lindsay or Kelly will get the nod as the starter for Saturday but both seem very capable and comfortable with the position now. Assistance O-line coach and former NFL player Chris Samuels was giving some instruction to Leon Brown during the one on one drills.
RB Altee Tenpenny wearing a black non-contact jersey joined DB Bradley Sylve on the stationary bikes as the Freshman RB is suffering from turf toe. Coach Nick Saban said they’re both “day to day.” Tenpenny has been a key contributor on special teams so far this year as this seems to be the norm for talented freshman on a Nick Saban team lately.
AJ McCarron may state that this is just another game but the Tennessee DB’s are racking up the interceptions this year. The Tide QB has been very steady and consistent all season even with him having to teach some of the younger players. After the Texas A&M game he said “I feel like the grand-paw out there because I’ve been around so long and I’m trying to get these guys in the right places”. With the receiving corps that he has at his disposal getting them in the right place will make or break this “rivalry” against the young eager Vol DB’s.
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