Alabama was back on the practice field for a single workout on the first day of fall camp Thursday. In previous years, Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban split the first practice into two sessions, the first with all returning players and the second with all newcomers plus a handful of returning players needed to fill out the squad for a productive practice.
Saban had explained in the past that the workout with the newcomers was so they would have the benefit of more personal coaching from the staff, have the opportunity to get accustomed to the pace of practice, and the many other nuances that come only with experience.
That plan has been very successful over the years. So why did Saban change? He’ll likely address that in the post-practice briefing, but Ken Rogers, who covers Alabama for the Dothan Eagle, may have hit on it. Rogers speculated that since the NCAA has relaxed rules that allow coaches off-the-field contact with players during the summer, that the requirements were gone for a separate practice for the newcomers on opening day.
It appeared the practice was going to have a change of venue. Just as reporters were leaving after their designated viewing time, the videographers in towers surrounding the practice field began to pack up and get down from the towers. In the far distance was the rumble of thunder and it was possible that the practice would move to the indoor facility.
Players were in helmets, but without other gear as will be the case for three days.
It is dangerous to speculate on anything about Alabama football based on the brief viewing of individual drills, but it can be reported that watching perhaps 60 throws by the five competing quarterbacks, there was only one pass that did not hit the receiver, a long sideline route barely overthrown