Photo report: Explosion is the key

Tide Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Pollard makes one thing crystal clear: he's building athletes, not body-builders. <br><br>Football is all about explosion, and the Alabama lifting program is designed accordingly.

Concentrating on keeping proper form, junior Rover Brooks Daniels cleans the bar to his chest. The players will often tape their wrists, to prevent injury or when lifting especially heavy weights. That's Lance Taylor's arm on the left, by the way.

With the departure of Saleem Rasheed to the NFL, the unofficial designation of best lifter among the so-called "stand up" athletes (running backs, tight ends and linebackers) is now up for grabs. And senior tight end Theo Sanders would be a prime candidate. Here, he performs a power shrug, which works the shoulders and hips primarily, but also emphasizes explosiveness through the knee, ankle and hip joints.

As Coach Franchione noted in yesterday's press conference, several of the redshirt freshmen are "on a mission" to play next season. Defensive backs Charlie Peprah (left) and Roman Harper (right), shown watching their teammates lift, would both certainly fall into that category.

As the saying goes, seeing is believing. Probably no player on the team has made more progress this past season than defensive end Antwan Odom. His weight now up over 275 pounds, the 6-5 sophomore is turning into quite a physical specimen.

Exhausted after a full round of lifting, Cornelius Wortham takes a split-second break. At this point Saleem Rasheed holds or shares all four major lifting records for linebackers, but Wortham (who also sports the most impressive 'guns' on the team) has a chance to break them all before he's finished at Alabama.

Like father, like son.
Twenty-five years ago Terry Jones (senior) headed off to what turned into an eight-year pro career on the defensive line with the Green Bay Packers. And this past weekend, the son (TJ Junior) was an invited participant at the NFL's official scouting combine in Indianapolis. The son, of course, played tight end during his college career. But interestingly, "Big T" revealed that "Junior" was originally signed to play defensive end at Alabama, but agreed to play tight end as a true freshman, because of a dearth of talent at the position.

Quarterback Tyler Watts shows near-perfect form on the "upright row." The exercise principally works the entire shoulder girdle, but also strengthens the front deltoids and also the trapezoids. The Tide staff doesn't believe in working muscles in isolation, but rather emphasizes "functional" movements, especially those designed to increase an athlete's explosiveness.

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