August 12, 2006

Practice Report: Tide works in full pads

The Tide walked onto the practice fields in full pads for the first time Saturday facing one of the hottest days of fall camp yet. While the heat got to a few players, the team as a whole seemed to handle the extra bulk well.

"Overall it went well," said Mike Shula. "We got a little tired early when it was hot. Some guys fought through it and other guys just kind of went through the motions. We've got to get in better football shape with the heat and pads on."

The first day of pads can often be a dangerous one as far as injuries are concerned but the Tide will again keep the orange injury jerseys locked away for now. The only noticeable shake up was Rashad Johnson who went down during a drill and spent the rest of practice with ice on his right knee.

The Tide finished the day with a round of conditioning runs for the entire roster with a double dose for the freshmen. Alabama will have its first two-a-day practice session tomorrow before holding the first scrimmage of camp on Monday.

Practice Takes
New face in, who's out?:
A new player has officially been added to the 105 man roster in walk-on center Morgan Garner meaning that another player has departed the team. Shula acknowledged the addition of Garner but did not announce if, as expected, either Trent Davidson or Marlon Davis have left the team. "We'll have announcement about that a little bit later," Shula said.
Four wide: When working in the four wide formation today, the four receivers used were DJ Hall, Matt Caddell, Nikita Stover and Will Oakley. Keith Brown sat out of contact work but is expected to return tomorrow.
Jimmy Johns package: The offense ran a play for the first time so far in camp with Jimmy Johns lined up under center. The play was a weakside sweep that earned a decent five yard gain.
Woodall works with ones: Freshman safety Justin Woodall worked with the first team today during 11-on-11 drills. The coaching staff has been high on Woodall since day one and have hinted that he may see some playing time during the season. Check back tomorrow for a feature on Woodall and his first week at Alabama.

Both sides look strong during full contact

The Tide ran its first full contact drills during Saturday's practice working in several different offensive formations. The offensive line struggled with its pass protection for most of the day but John Parker Wilson managed to have a decent outing nonetheless.

"John Parker had a better day today than he did yesterday," Shula said. "Yesterday he had a couple poor throws and couple bad reads. Today he was sharper mentally but still made one or two bad throws."

Among those bad throws were an interception to sophomore Trent Dean and a tipped pass by Wallace Gilberry that was grabbed by Jeremy Clark and returned for a touchdown.

Wilson also threw plenty of sharp looking passes as well finding Matt Caddell for a touchdown during a two minute drill and hitting tight end Charles Hoke on a deep crossing route. Shula said he was pleased with the way the first team offense dealt with running on the clock.

"For the most part I think we handled it pretty well mentally."

Jumbo still packs a punch

The much-beloved jumbo package is alive and well making mincemeat of the second team defense during goal line drills. The first team goal line offense put Tim Castille into the end zone in all three attempts but failed to convert on a pass to Charles Hoke. Castille's reliability in short yardage situations will likely be crucial once again this season according to Shula.
"Tim's got a knack for the short yardage and goal line plays of just finding a way to get the first down or the touchdown. He's real good when it's a one-on-one situation."

Shula was also impressed with Jimmy Johns who worked with the second team offense on goal line and made one impressive leap over the top to get the touchdown.

"I thought Jimmy Johns with the second group did a real good job there as well."

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