Photo report: Much-anticipated 1st scrimmage

No one expected a perfect performance during Bama's first scrimmage of Fall Camp. But there were things to cheer about--including blitzing linebackers and hard-running tailbacks--and once again placekicker Neal Thomas proved steady as a rock.

Spectators and players were on hand bright and early for the first scrimmage of Fall Camp. Wednesday was a work day, but from the size of the crowd lined up to watch the scrimmage it looked for all the world like a holiday. Here, receivers Joel Babb (#37) and Sam Collins (#7) stretch during warmups.

Missed him by thiiis much. Tyler Watts (#14) barely eludes the grasp of a would-be tackler. On the morning, Watts was 3-of-9 for 27 yards passing.

Strong tackle Dante Ellington (#65) and strong guard Dennis Alexander (#73) work together in the trenches. Both linemen have dropped weight over the summer and report they're quicker than last season.

Junior wideout Antonio Carter shows some excellent ahtleticism following a short reception. For the scrimmage Carter had three receptions for 27 yards.

With the coverage holding up reasonably well in front of him (for this play at least), Andrew Zow (#5) lets fly down field. For the scrimmage Zow hit on 6-of-14 passes for 52 yards.

Looking down the line of scrimmage. Franchione said afterwards that the offensive line was improving assignment-wise, but they still need a lot of concerted practice time on their technique.

If there had been such an award, placekicker Neal Thomas probably deserved to be named MVP of last season's team. And so far at least, he seems to have picked up exactly where he left off. Kirk's stats have him making two field goals with one blocked and another foiled by a bad snap, but Thomas said afterwards that he was 3-for-3.

Following the morning scrimmage, Anthony Bryant chose to just sit and regain some strength. Despite having never played a down of college football, the mammoth tackle is being counted on to shore up the interior of Bama's defensive line.

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