Tide In Full Gear, Practices Indoors

There was an Alabama player other than a quarterback in a black (no contact) jersey Tuesday. Although he was wearing number 33, it wasn't junior linebacker Trey DePriest. This new number 33 wasn't hurt, either. He was taking the place of a player lost to injury.



Alabama had its fifth practice of fall camp Tuesday, and it was also the Crimson Tide's first practice in full gear.

"It's always exciting, the first day in pads," Bama Coach Nick Saban said. "I remember back when I played, and no matter how much summer conditioning you did and no matter how many practices you had, the first day of pads if you're a football player is always something that's a little big special."

A summer thunderstorm sent the Tide into the indoor facility for the two-hour workout.

Following the practice, Saban announced that senior walk-on wide receiver Tyler Bass of Vestavia Hills had suffered a broken ankle in Monday's practice and had surgery Tuesday. "He'll be out for the rest of fall camp," Saban said. "I don't know how long for sure, but a very similar type thing to Derrick Henry's. We just have to go from there."

The first step was bringing in a replacement player in the 105. And although Alabama seems to be loaded at the wide receiver position, Bama brought in another walk-on wide receiver. Jeremy Watson is a 6-1, 184-pound senior from Northport. He was in a black jersey because players must have a gradual progression into full gear practice.

Alabama begins the first of the alternate two-a-days Wednesday. Bama will practice at 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Monday (Aug. 12) and Wednesday (Aug. 14). The Tide will have its first game-type scrimmage Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The scrimmage is closed to public view.

Saban said that during the alternate two-a-day practices "We also go back to square one, start over with the players so they get another chance to learn it from the start.

"I think the fundamentals of how to do it and why it's important to do it that way are something that we really look forward to being able to focus on this time around."

Saban saw the good and the bad of having to practice indoors Tuesday.

The good was "a bit of a break from the heat," the coach said. "We had much better mental intensity, the players focused better, there was better attention to detail."

On the other hand, a part of fall camp is creating "difficult circumstances so that the players do have to struggle to have the same kind of intensity, the same kind of attention to detail, in in difficult circumstances. That's one thing we need to prove that we can do as a team and continue to get better."

The coach said, " I'm not disappointed in where our team is. We've got a lot of guys that need to do a lot of improving at certain positions, and we're certainly working hard to try to do that."

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