Depth Finder

There is perhaps just one or two starting positions wide open on the Alabama football team – the injury-stricken right guard spot and perhaps a defensive tackle battle between Justin Britt and Jeremy Clark - but what Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula is looking for in the squad's second scrimmage on Saturday are the players who will prove themselves as contributors who can fill the gaps when needed.

"We'll continue to try to find the guys that we know are going to be on the field and help us win," Head Coach Mike Shula said following Friday's brief full pads workout, "We're still looking for guys that are going to come in and maybe be in the mix at some point, maybe not necessarily starters, but guys that can come in and give us quality snaps to help us win."

The right guard position battle will be the primary one to watch. True freshman Marlon Davis has taken repetitions with the first-team offense for the past two days as Mark Sanders was sidelined with a virus, but was back on the field Friday. Shula said both Sanders and Davis would mix in with the first unit Saturday afternoon.

"He's a freshman still, number one, so he's made a few mistakes," Shula said of Davis. "You have to take that into consideration with their learning curve. He has been put into a situation now where he's going to have to learn faster than what he may have anticipated. He's done a great job. He's a very mature young man. He's still got a ways to go."

Saturday's scrimmage and the film review afterwards can go a long way to sorting out spots. Shula expects the scrimmage to be similar to the Tide's first scrimmage, which went 108 snaps.

Friday's practice lasted just over an hour. The squad will have another short practice Saturday morning focusing primarily on special teams work. The scrimmage is open to the public and begins at approximately 3:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Shula noted that Saturday's scrimmage will consist of the first-team offense against the second team defense and vice versa, but he said, "If you've noticed, ones on twos really gets to be mixed in a hurry. There will be a lot of twos mixed in with the ones on both sides and you'll probably see that tomorrow, quickly."

Shula will consult with the medical staff before making the final call about who will and won't scrimmage, but he said Mark Anderson (arthroscopic knee surgery) will probably not scrimmage and that defensive tackle Jeremy Clark is a maybe.

One player expected to see his first live action since October of last year is halfback/fullback Tim Castille.

"Unless something changes from right now I think we'll get him out there on the field and get him some snaps," Shula said of Castille. "I don't know how many, but he's had a good week of team drills and 11-on-11."

Kenneth Darby will get a similar number of reps as last Monday's scrimmage, when he had six carries.

BamaMag Top Stories