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My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Week Fall Practice Wrap Up (Plus Links)

Jesse Williams at practice Friday
This has been a really interesting first week of fall practice. I know I've been really excited to read the daily reports and see how certain guys are doing. It's always great to follow the progress of the young guys and the older guys who are just now getting the opportunity to contribute

As far as young guys go, the ones who have shown the most likelyhood of seeing the field this year are Eddie Williams, Amari Cooper, TJ Yeldon, Ryan Anderson, Xzavier Dickson, Jeoffrey Pagan, hell I'd even throw Adam Griffith, the incoming kicker into that list, because he has an incredible leg and we saw what can happen when your kicker isn't what he should be or isn't playing well

As far as guys who are not freshmen, but will be stepping into bigger roles this year, I really look forward to Vinnie Sunseri at safety. He wasn't as highly touted as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was coming out of high school, but he jumped ahead of him last year when they were both true freshman and he is a very smart player and hard hitter, two of my favorite traits in a player. Adrian Hubbard is another guy that has been around but is just now getting his chance. I think he will be an All American this year. Trey Depriest also. And Cyrus Kouandjio. Man, we are so loaded with young future NFL first round talent

Eddie Williams had spent all of camp playing WR until Thursday when he moved to Safety. He was listed at Safety as a recruit, but had moved to WR and being that he was reminding people of Julio Jones, that was exciting. He also was still at Safety on Friday so we will see how that turns out. Either way, he is a hell of an athlete and will be a great player for us

As great as the O-Line is, and everyone knows it is probably the best in the country, the D-Line has looked really good against them this week, and that is definitely encouraging. We all know what we have in Jesse Williams, but Damien Square, Quinton Dial, and Ed Stinson are all above average players who have great potential. I think our pass rush is going to be the best it has been under Saban, as there are finally multiple players who can be trusted to get to the QB on a consistent basis

Everyone is worried about the health of Eddie Lacy, and he hasn't taken any hits really so far so there is alot up in the air about that and whether or not he will still have any lingering or long term effects of his turf toe injury. His bigger problem so far seems to be conditioning. He's not quite in the shape he should be in but he still has a few weeks to get that in gear. Either way, with Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart, and future Heisman candidate TJ Yeldon behind him, we are set and perfectly fine at that position for awhile

AJ McCarron has fully established himself in the hearts of most Bama fans as our guy, and he has become a true leader on this team. He has absolutely zero competition and will take every meaningful snap this fall, barring injury. That's also a concern, though. With Phillip Sims transferring to UVA, we don't have anyone behind AJ who has taken a single snap and we don't know much about the talent that his backups have. Phillip Ely looks to be the direct backup, but from what we have seen so far this week, incoming freshman  Alec Morris could take over that 2nd spot before the season is over. He has a cannon for an arm, and has shown up and shown out so far in practice.

Alabama lined up in the I-formation a few times this week with Lacy at TB and Fowler at FB. That is an absolute DREAM of mine and I hope we do some of that this year. Fowler is too talented to keep off the field, so he has also been practicing at Brad Smelley's old position, which he is showing that he could handle

One thing that I find to be a really good sign so far has been Saban's personality with the media. In 2010, he was alot more agitated and snappy than he was last year. And last year he had a better team. This year, he seems to be more like last year. I take that to mean that he knows he has a NC caliber team. This is not going to be a repeat of 2010, whether we win it all again or not

Incoming freshman WR Chris Black was senselessly injured when another freshman decided to put a big hit on him when he was fielding a kick. The hit was uncalled for and not allowed, per Saban's practice rules. Black was probably our 2nd best incoming WR behind Cooper and he had worked his ass off to get to play this year. Now he has to miss the entire season because of surgery to repair his injuries. So dumb to lose one of your freaking OWN teammates for the season cause you want to show off. Oh well, what can you do about young guys sometimes?

Today (Saturday, as I am writing this), the Tide will hold their first full scrimmage. It will be closed to the media and the public, but usually they release some stats from the game, and some tidbits of info always leak out, so hopefully I can have something about that later on


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