Youngsters Get More Work

Alabama's football team practiced with more onlookers than the normal contingent of coaches and staff Wednesday, with parents and A-Club members in attendance at practice via special permission from the NCAA. The squad worked out for just shy of two hours in full pads with less experienced players getting more work during the off-week.

"Even the younger guys had a big difference today from yesterday," Head Coach Mike Shula said. "We pretty much kept the starters out. Even the ones that are healthy, we limited their work. We're just going to get them ready for Sunday. Sunday will be like a Tuesday practice for us."

Shula said he believes most of his players that have been nagged by non-season-ending injuries should be back to work by Sunday, including Trent Davidson who had a scare after being hit in the knee on Sunday. Davidson's injury was termed as only a deep bruise.

"We're going to see if he can come back for Sunday," Shula said. "Eric Gray's got a chance, I don't know if he'll be ready Sunday but possibly Tuesday… We're just holding (Marc Guillon) until Sunday."

Shula said that quarterbacks Adam Thrash and A.J. Milwee continue to get more work in practice, and "did better today than they did yesterday."

Shula said he continues to devise ways to get Tyrone Prothro, one of the team's few healthy offensive weapons the ball. "(Other) teams know that, too," he said. "The good thing is we feel like we've got other guys, Keith Brown and even DJ Hall, who hasn't gotten it lately, but is a guy we think we can get it in his hands.

"We had three of four more opportunities where we tried to get (Prothro) the ball against Tennessee but we just missed it. He's pretty good with it in his hands."

Shula said he really hasn't considered some more unconventional methods of getting the ball in the hands of those playmakers, such as placing an one of his receivers at the quarterback position.

"If you do you've got to really work on it," Shula said. "We're still working on some other things with these other guys in there that we're trying to get better at, and we feel like we can get it to them enough throwing it and the way we've been doing it. We've just got to complete a few more of them."

Shula said that several anticipated redshirts have received more work during the off week, mainly for next year, "but in case there's an injury… you never know for this year," he said.

Will Oakley, Aaron McDaniel, Antoine Caldwell, B.J. Stabler along with freshmen who have seen limited playing time this year, Curtis Dawson and Marcus Carter, are a few of the players that have seen more action during the week of practice.

In preparation for the Tide's game against Mississippi State a week from Saturday, Shula said that his players have watched tape, and will get more on the field study of the Bulldogs Thursday and heavily on Sunday.

Alabama is scheduled to practice Thursday, with off days on Friday and Saturday.

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