Tide Working on Consistency In Last Two-a-Day

The Alabama football team was in full pads Monday morning for the early session of the last two-a-day practice for the fall of 2004. The squad will wrap up two-a-days tonight in shorts and shoulder pads inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The media got the first official word on DeMeco Ryans, who was injured on the 25th play of Saturday's scrimmage and was wearing a protective boot on his ankle and a burnt orange "injured" jersey on both Sunday and Monday.

"It's a similar injury to what he had in the spring," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said. "He'll be out, unless something changes, for this week, and we'll see how he goes next week. We're just trying to get it healed as quickly as we can."

"I knew it was my ankle, and the same thing happened in the spring," Ryans said Monday. "I still don't know how bad it is. I'm just taking it day to day. It feels a lot better than when I first hurt it."

Shula said he likes the depth at linebacker, noting DeMarcus Waldrop's return to full-speed work and saying that he hopes to have Terrence Jones back and practicing within the week.

"Freddie (Roach) is learning all of the positions, so that's good," Shula said. "But DeMeco's still a pretty good player. We're going to try to get him back quickly."

Shula said the execution Monday was at times better in some areas, and that his squad will continue to work on consistency. The squad has scheduled its third and final scrimmage for Tuesday afternoon. The scrimmage is closed to the public.

"It will probably be something similar to what we've done the last two scrimmages. We'll probably take a look at some other guys," Shula said. "We'll look at Marc (Guillon) and Spencer (Pennington). After the scrimmage school starts on Wednesday and we'll start getting ready more in depth for Utah State.

"We need to get good work with our starters but we feel like we've gotten two good scrimmages in on both sides of the ball. Brodie is a prime example. We've given him more work than he had last training camp because he missed spring ball. He needs every rep he can get. I said earlier we'll give those other guys a few more reps."

Shula wasn't sure if Tyrone Prothro and Travis Robinson would be available for Tuesday's scrimmage, both of whom were wearing orange jerseys during the Monday morning practice. Prothro said he had a sore left ankle and Robinson said he had a bruised sternum.

"We'll get a report on (Prothro) after practice," Shula said. "We kept him out today. He was beat up a little bit and has a couple of bumps and bruises. My gut feeling with Travis he won't go tonight but possibly tomorrow."

Shula said that Charlie Peprah is "getting closer" to returning to full-contact work. ""Hopefully mid-week for Charlie, but we'll see," he said.

With Peprah likely out again for Tuesday's scrimmage, Shula said he wasn't completely comfortable with his young safeties, Marcus Carter and Jeffrey Dukes, because of their inexperience, but that Marcus Carter has impressed in fall camp.

"Marcus has done well," Shula said. "He had a good scrimmage, too. We're going to take a look at him and if he's ready he'll be in there playing."

Upon Further Review:

After reviewing the videotape from Alabama's Saturday's scrimmage Shula noted Cornelius Wortham among the standouts on defense and DJ Hall on offense.

"The guy who's probably been the most improved on offense of our football team this training camp is Clint Johnston," Shula said. "He had a nice catch in the scrimmage, but everything he's done in this camp is much improved from last year at any point and from spring ball at any point. He was hurt and a lot of that is because he's feeling healthy and hopefully he will continue to feel that way. He's been a pleasant surprise especially with David Cavan being limited."

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