Wednesday morning the Alabama Crimson Tide returned to the practice field outside at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields for the first of two practices today. Today is the first of four two-a-days for fall camp.
All-SEC receiver Amari Cooper didn’t seem to be limited in practice but he did have his left hand heavily wrapped up for an unspecified injury. Freshman linebacker Reuben Foster still had his hand wrapped up as well, but again was not limited in drills.
Sophomore Dillon Lee returned to the outside linebackers today after spending Tuesday with the inside linebackers. Linebacker Anthony Orr was wearing a brace on a leg, but no word on his injury.
Freshman nose tackle A’Shawn Robinson is drawing a lot of praise for the great shape the massive lineman cape to camp in and senior Anthony Steen said yesterday that after his father watched practice, he told Anthony that Robinson looked “like a 30-year-old man out there,” rather than a freshman.
A few days after South Carolina’s star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney made some buzz after he (and a teammate) flipped a big blocking sled, Bama’s Ed Stinson wowed a few himself.
Head coach Nick Saban was seen getting a bit animated when the defensive backs were frustrating him during some drills.
After the morning practice, wide receiver Kenny Bell spoke to the media and said that his leg is fully recovered and he has speed back completely. Bell said that Foster was going to be a great player and reminded him of himself as far as speed goes. Bell says he thinks this offense “can be one of the best.”
Fellow receiver DeAndrew White also spoke to the media, commenting that he was no longer wearing a brace on his surgically repaired knee. White said that his speed was “about the same, maybe faster” and that he just goes out every day to play fast. White said that Christion Jones seems to be the most vocal leader of this group, and then talked about how his quarterback added muscle to his lower body. White said that AJ McCarron has added some leg strength that has added to his deep ball.
Junior defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan called the new group of freshmen defensive line “probably the smartest group” he’s seen, and that they would help add to the pass rush. In comparing nose tackle Brandon Ivory to Jesse Williams, Pagan said that Williams was faster and able to play more reps, but Ivory is dropping weight to improve on both things. He also mentioned how strong backup nose tackle Darren Lake was saying that he bench presses 585 pounds. By way of comparison, Jesse Williams set Twitter on fire last year after it was reported that he bench pressed 600 pounds, seems Lake could be gaining on that mark.
In some unfortunate news, Nick Saban revealed this afternoon that redshirt freshman defensive lineman Dakota Ball had to undergo an emergency appendectomy. The surgery went well and Saban said that he is expected to make a full recovery, though obviously no timetable for return yet. That type of procedure is typically done due to appendicitis.
Wednesday night Alabama returned to the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility for the second part of the first two-a-day of the fall camp due to heavy rainfall in Tuscaloosa this afternoon. The team returned to shells (helmet, shoulder pads, and shorts) for the second practice after participating in full pads earlier today.
All indications point to freshman Derrick Henry looking extremely good thus far and fully healed from his leg injury in the spring.
The slot receivers seem to be going in order, with Christion Jones first, followed by Chris Black and then ArDarius Stewart, indicating Jones has the lead on that spot currently.
Sophomore Geno Smith was doing drills with the safeties rather than the cornerbacks, which could be an indication of him being the star (nickel) back more than a position change.
Both practices were described as “quiet but business-like” today and the business-like comparison seems to be a common theme with this team so far in this early season.
Cleveland Browns general manager Michael Lombardi was observing the second practice today.
Tomorrow Alabama will hold one practice in the afternoon and then Coach Saban will speak to the media.