Alabama Practice Report, Scenes and Updates
It was a beautiful fall day for the Crimson Tide football team at practice today. The forecast for Saturday’s game against Tennessee should be very similar to the type of weather as today which was a nice chill in the air and sunny. The Alabama players were in full pads for one more day this week at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility preparing for the Volunteers.
As the media entered the practice facility for the final view of the week the running backs were going through the ball handling drill where each running back tries to knock the ball out of arms of the runner. This drill became a staple at practice after the fumbles during the Kentucky game.
The offensive line was going through two on two drills mixed with a few one on ones so that coach Martin watch specific players technique. One of those players is Grant Hill who is a true freshman that has started to share time with Austin Shepard. The junior offensive starter welcomes the competition however. “Grant Hill’s a good player. He’s doing everything right, learning the system still. We both have a ways to go. He’s doing good.” Shepard said.
Shepard is continuing the legacy from DJ Fluker. As a junior, Fluker mentored Shepard at the right tackle position. “I feel like D.J. Fluker did that for me. If I didn’t understand something, he’d take me to the side to explain what to do. And just, I want to keep it rolling.” Shepard said.
Fluker, by the way, is up for NFL Rookie of the week following his performance in a tough situation for the San Diego Chargers against the Jacksonville Jags. He is going up against his former teammate Eddie Lacy after his 108 total yard game for the Green Bay Packers in their defeat of the Cleveland Browns. Fans can vote on the award winner online until 2 p.m. CDT Friday.
The Tide secondary was going through the typical backpedaling and bump and run drills with head coach Nick Saban overseeing it all and throwing the deep ball for the “picks”. Deion Belue seemed a little gimpy during drills with the turf toe injury that started bothering him during the Texas A&M game. Bradley Sylve still wore the black non-contact jersey during practice but did see some time with the DB’s during drills.
Coach Nick Saban announced today that DE LaMichael Fanning has been indefinitely suspended for violation of team rules. What those team rules are, Saban never really says. But suffice it to say that Saban has made it well known that to play on this team, or any of Nick Saban’s teams, you will abide by the rules that are set and it doesn’t matter who you are. Junior tackle Cyrus Kouandjio knows the importance of following the rules as does most of the team “There’s a lot of guys that do the right things…. Here and there, you’re going to have problems. It’s impossible to not have problems. Out of those 100 kids, 95, 96, 97, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do.
Fanning has not been at practice all week and did not dress for the Arkansas game. A’Shawn Robinson has moved up the depth chart to second behind Ed Stinson which also pushed Fanning down to third on the D-Line.
Staying on the defensive side of the ball but not really related to practice, linebacker C.J. Mosley was named one of 20 quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. This is awarded annually to college football’s defensive impact player of the year. Mosley has lived up the hype following the 2012 season and currently leads the Tide with 58 total tackles, including 4.5 for loss, four quarterback hurries and three pass breakups.
Back to practice, not only were there a few NFL scouts in attendance for today’s practice such as the Falcons, Titans and Chiefs but two former Alabama players Jerrell Harris and Brandon Gibson watched today’s practice as well.
Alabama will finish the week as usual tomorrow with another practice to wrap up the game plan for the Vols. The Tide will face Tennessee at 2:30 on Saturday at Bryant Denny Stadium which is televised by CBS.
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