Scrimmage Is Next

The first six days of Alabama football camp have been a progression. On Monday Crimson Tide players will have a chance to show how much progress has been made…or how much needs to be made. After two days of practice Sunday, Bama will head to Bryant--Denny Stadium for the first scrimmage of pre-season practice on Monday.

Monday's Alabama scrimmage will be open to the public. The practice will begin at 2 p.m. and over 50 per cent of the work will be devoted to scrimmage work.

Shula said that it would include the first offense against the second defense, the second offensve against the first defense, and special teams work.

"Our first day of two-a-days I thought we had two pretty good practices," said Shula. "It was a hot day, the guys really came out and we got a lot of work done. The execution needs to be better. It was a little bit better than two days ago and a lot better than yesterday."

The morning practice was in full gear, while the afternoon workout was in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.

Shula said, ""We had a lot of different drills. We had two-minute, this afternoon we had a little bit of move the ball. This morning we had blitz drill, we had short yardage. We're getting ourselves ready for all the situations we'll have tomorrow."

Shula announced one temporary absence and one permanent loss from the football team. On Saturday, wide receiver Keith Brown had an uncharacteristially poor day catching the football. In Sunday morning's practice he had to leave the field in the middle of practice. Sunday evening Shula revealed that Brown had suffered a slight concussion Saturday and was resting Sunday.

The Tide coach also announced that walk-on placekicker C.J. Rhody had decided to give up football. Rhody, a redshirt freshman from Stuart, Florida, had been impressive in work last season after recovering from foot surgery before arriving at Alabama. He has been battling sophomore Jamie Christensen, senior Ryan Saxby, and walk-on freshman Andrew Friedman for the place-kicking job.

That drops Alabama to 104 on the pre-season roster. Shula said no decision had been made on whether another player would be brought in for the balance of pre-season camp. NCAA rules limit squads to 105 for pre-season work prior to the start of classes. Classes at Alabama begin August 24.

One of the big concerns appears to be the offensive line, which lost three seniors from last year's starting group and which has had a couple of key competitors injured this fall. Shula was asked about progress there. He said, "It's better. It's got to be more consistent. We're not there."

Some running backs who had not been prominent in earlier work were more in the picture Sunday. Shula said that some backs were suffering cramps in the heat. Bama's rotation has been a "monitored" Kenneth Darby and true freshmen Glen Coffee and Roy Upchurch. On Sunday soph Aaron Johns and true freshman Ali Sharrief were added to the mix.

Shula said that the practice was probably the best back-up quarterback John Parker Wilson has had.

The Tide coach said cornerback Ramzee Robinson was continuing to be held out with his bad back. "He wants to be in there and he needs the reps, but we need him to be healthy, so we're resting him," Shula said.

Tide Honors High Tide Club

The Alabama football team also celebrated the accomplishments of the 2005 High Tide Club which honors those football athletes that showed the most progress both on and off the field.

This year's honorees were Mark Anderson, Brandon Brooks, Justin Ballard, Tim Castille, Matt Collins, Brian Kilpatrick, Drew Lane, Anthony Madison, Greg McLain, Lionel Mitchell and DeMeco Ryans.

Ryans received the red shirt which signifies the top academic athlete. It is the second straight year that he has received the top honor.

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