(Above left) His demeanor in dealing with the press has remained amiable and upbeat, but there is no question that Head Coach Mike Shula has approached spring with a tough, extremely demanding attitude when it comes to preparing the team for next season.
Ray Hudson jogs back during post-scrimmage conditioning. Almost every day's practice session, whether it was held at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields or at Bryant-Denny Stadium, did not conclude until the entire squad went through a grueling conditioning session.
Given the injuries to Bama's top two quarterbacks, the inordinate attention paid to Marc Guillon before spring was understandable--but also probably unfair. It took him awhile to settle in with the new offense and teammates, but the former Miami quarterback has played well the past week. Don't expect any depth chart changes until next fall, but Guillon is in a position to legitimately challenge for the No. 2 spot behind starter Brodie Croyle.
His developmen this spring may not have been a surprise, but there's no question that Matt Caddell's improvement at receiver has been extremely welcomed by the Tide coaches. The redshirt freshman speedster will finish spring solidly ensconsed in Bama's top 4 group of wideouts.
Flinging his body forward at the snap, fullback Le'Ron McClain goes through post-scrimmage conditioning. The top three tailback candidates (Hudson, Kenneth Darby and Tim Castille) have all had good springs, but McClain's improvement may be the most important factor of all.
The nightmare double-fracture seems years away now to Wesley Britt, but in truth it was just months ago that he lay writhing in pain on the turf of Bryant-Denny. Here, Britt shows off his operation scars where doctors repaired the breaks. His rehab remains ahead of schedule, which is great news for the Tide. Alabama will depend on the All-America left tackle to solidify an otherwise inexperienced offensive line in 2004.
Dominic Lee (right, on crutches) and Tarry Givens (#85) talk to fans after Saturday's scrimmage. Lee had surgery on his ankle, which went very well. The second-year player should be back healthy next season to contribute at defensive tackle.
With players, coaches, managers, trainers and other staffers gathered around, Head Coach Mike Shula addresses the squad after Saturday's scrimmage. Next year's squad won't be one of Bama's deepest or most talented teams, but the unit will definitely bear the imprint of Shula and his staff.