Injury Update Is Good News

Alabama Head Football Coach Dennis Franchione gave a fairly detailed injury update Thursday, and that could be the last time much injury news comes out of the Crimson Tide camp. Franchione has said he does not discuss injuries during the season, except that sometimes he will annouce a player has suffered a season-ending injury.

On Wednesday there had been a couple of injuries that were beyond the pulled hamstring or stinger variety. In fact, they were potentially beyond the season-ending type. Fullback Donnie Lowe suffered a concussion and nose tackle Anthony Bryant went down with a heat problem. Both were taken to DCH Medical Center. The outlook for those, and others Franchione had discussed, is good. He said that Lowe, who Thursday was watching practice in shorts, is "day-to-day." He said that Bryant, who was back at practice as the Tide went through about a two-hour workout in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts, had no problems.

Franchione also said that linebacker Victor Ellis, who suffered a shoulder burner, or stinger, would be out "another day or two," and that cornerback Hirchel Bolden and defensive end Antwan Odom, who suffered shoulder injuries earlier in the week, would be back as early as next Sunday, though "probably Tuesday."

Finally, freshman tailback Marquez Dupee was in shorts and sported three Bandaid strips on his left knee, the result of arthroscopic surgery performed by Dr. Les Fowler. Dupree had some cartilege problems from an old high school injury. He'll be out about three weeks, Franchione said.

Franchione said "It has been pretty warm the past two days," partly the result of an earlier practice time now that The University has begun classes and the football team has reduced to one practice per day. But, he said, "I see their legs coming back. We'll have a light practice Saturday, work pretty good Sunday, and have Monday off. I think by next Saturday we'll be fairly fresh."

Next Saturday is Alabama's season-opening game against UCLA. The game from Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium will kickoff at 6:45 p.m. CDT Saturday, September 1, with television coverage by ESPN.

As part of a regular routine each year Franchione puts his team through a mock game weekend. This week he will have game day meetings, a pre-game meal, then go to Bryant-Denny Stadium for pre-game stretching,, and a mock game with every conceivable situation. The team will go through its halftime routine, sideline operations, substitution patterns, and communications with the press box. And after the game, the team will go through post-game operations. The mock game is close to everyone, including the media.

Franchione said that one pleasing thing about preparation has been that Alabama hasn't been doing the things that beat a team. "We haven't been turning the ball over a lot, we haven't been jumping offsides before the snap, we're not mishandling the quarterback exchange, and all those foolish things that can cost you a game."

He also commented briefly on a handful of interesting subjects.

He said that whether Alabama ended up with one quarterback or alternating quarterbacks he would be comfortable with the situation. He noted that both Andrew Zow and Tyler Watts (he mentioned them in that order) "have strengths."

He said that although there are two young, redshirt freshmen (Justin Smiley and Wesley Britt) scheduled to start on the offensive line that he thinks they'll be fine after the first few plays.

He said he didn't know what to expect of the secondary when spring practice started because he knew he had three positions where there was very little experience. But he said the secondary did well in the spring and has picked up and gone forward in fall camp and is doing "fairly well." He added, "We have talent. Just not a lot of snaps [game experience]."

He said that tailback Ahmaad Galloway has "had a great fall." He said Galloway did well in the summer in his weight-lifting and running and that he is "smart, a good runner, and a good pass-catcher."

And he said the reason he doesn't want people posting practice information on the internet is he doesn't want UCLA "to find out things like the move of Freddie Milons to quarterback."


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