TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama is close to wrapping up its open practice here at Bryant-Denny Stadium. For the first and only time, reporters got a glimpse at the entire thing.
After two days in helmets and shorts, the Crimson Tide donned shells for the first time. This wasn’t a full-contact session, but there was plenty of physical play.
Here’s the latest.
Running back Eddie Lacy, who spoke to us earlier in the day about his recovery from toe surgery, switched from a white jersey to a black, non-contact jersey after the first 30 minutes of drills. Also in black were offensive tackle Arie Kouandjio and freshman defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson.
Freshman Cyrus Jones, who is simply labeled an athlete on Alabama’s roster, worked with both the running backs and wide receivers today. From what we saw from the first two practices, He had exclusively been with the wide receivers.
Four Crimson Tide players took their turn catching punts. None of whom were sophomore wide receiver Christion Jones, who was presumed to be the front-runner for the job. They were: wide receivers Kevin Norwood and Chris Black, Cyrus Jones and running back Dee Hart.
Speaking of Black, he took a hard hit from linebacker Ryan Anderson during a passing drill and looked to have injured his wrist. He was taken off the field and did not return.
And, speaking of Hart, he was sporting a sleeve on his right leg. During the first two days, he was simply wearing a brace on his surgically repaired right knee.
Defensive lineman Wilson Love was sidelined for a portion of the practice with an injury to his left foot.
Freshman Adam Griffith split time with starter Cody Mandell and Jeremy Shelley during punting drills.
Junior-college transfer Deion Belue worked primarily with the ones during defensive drills. Also in the mix to start opposite Dee Milliner are Travell Dixon and John Fulton. Because of the numerous defensive packages Alabama runs, all three players should expect to see a significant dose of playing time in 2012.
During 11-on-11 drills, Hart was consistently paired with quarterback Phillip Ely while T.J. Yeldon was with freshman Alec Morris.
From what we gather, Brian Vogler continues to work as the first-team H-back.
Alabama’s backup quarterbacks received praise from both Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier earlier today, but there’s clearly a significant drop-off when AJ McCarron is off the field. There truly might not be a more irreplaceable on this Alabama roster than McCarron.
Alabama’s first-team defensive line of Ed Stinson, Jesse Williams and Damion Square gave the Crimson Tide’s offensive line all sorts of problems during one particular 11-on-11 drill.
Not many fans took advantage of the open practice. At its fullest, there were no more than 1,000 in the stands. We assume there were many more using the time to get a prime spot in line for autographs.