Offense has Catching Up to Do

The morning practice of the first two-a-day was another hot and busy workout for the Crimson Tide Sunday, and as is the case for most fall practices, the defense appears to be somewhat ahead of the offense entering the first scrimmage on Monday.

"We still dropped too many passes. We had the ball on the ground a little bit too much but we're still getting better," quarterback Brodie Croyle said.

Said Offensive Coordinator Dave Rader, "You saw the ball on the ground way too many times. That's got to be eliminated. We even had a stupid penalty today we hadn't had in a long time."

For the scrimmage on Monday, "the first thing is some ‘can't's," Rader said. "The second thing is some cans. Can we put a series of plays together 11-on-11? Can we be efficient? Can we be consistent? I would really like to see that. If a touchdown works out of it that would be great.

"Right now we want to eliminate the negatives and put together a string of positives so we can build toward that goal of being a very efficient high-scoring offense. That to me is what the first scrimmage is going to be."

Monday's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium is scheduled for 2 p.m. and is open to the public.

"We need to go out there and move the ball and have a good day," Croyle said. "A scrimmage brings out the best in everybody. You have an idea about the young guys but you really don't know anything until it's crunch time. When that time comes you're going to see who will step up and who will make the plays."

Rader said that Saturday's practice was a backwards step for the receivers, but that "DJ Hall had a great day today."

Asked what freshmen running backs Glen Coffee and Roy Upchurch could do to separate themselves in Monday's scrimmage, Rader said not putting the ball on the ground was the first thing.

"They go from 0-60 quickly, that's evident," He said. "They have some mental capabilities that will allow them to play early. They're handling a lot of information now.

"And you know what they've done a pretty dog gone good job of? Pass protection. They'll stick their nose in there. They may get run over but at least they're on the right guy. They have some courage."

Crolye said that Upchurch and Coffee, "both have the same kind of running style. They are both fast guys, not huge but they're not small either. They are slasher-type guys and they're definitely going to play this year, both of them."

Alabama has some young tight ends in a similar situation as the freshmen running backs, having to learn on the go.

"As we practice, practice, practice it's coming together more. They need to be assignment-correct tomorrow," Rader said of the tight ends. "There's a lot on them. If they can stay on their blocks and then have the ability to catch the ball we'll feel good. Again, we're putting a lot on them."

The number of snaps in the scrimmage for Kenneth Darby has not been determined, but Croyle said Darby has looked as good as ever during practice.

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