Check That Number

When a squad loses a punter and a placekicker the third day of practice is normally way too early to ask if a replacement has been found. That's true for Alabama situation this year, too. But Mike Shula floated an interesting possibility that could have observers double-checking the placekicker's number when it's field goal time.

"Who knows, you may see two guys kicking as far as field goals go," Shula said after Thursday's practice, the third for Alabama in fall training camp.

Shula said he could "possibly" use different kickers for long field goals and short ones, or "If we think one of them's had a better week that week , we'll do that," he said.

At the end of Thursday's practice, which was the first of the three that did not finish indoors because of bad weather, there was a field goal kicking competition to determine how much running the team would do.

Jamie Christensen, who enters the fall as the leader for the position, was away taking an exam, so Ryan Saxby and C.J. Rhody took two mid-range field goal attempts each.

Saxby made the first and missed the second, while Rhody missed the first and made the second attempt.

"This week and next week we'll have these guys competing," Shula said.

Shula noted that true freshman Andrew Friedman, from Mobile, is currently behind the other three placekickers. "You've got to earn right to compete and right now he's not there, but he's a good talent," he said.

On the punting side, Shula said that Jeremy Shatz, Jeff Aul and freshman P.J. Fitzgerald all punted good when he had watched them. Schatz is the current leader for the job.


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