Cool Practice

Back in November there were many Alabama football players hoping to go to a warm weather bowl, but they were thinking about Florida, not Dallas. The weather has been unseasonably warm, made-to-order by the AT&T Cotton Bowl with temperatures in the low- to mid-70s.

"When we heard about the Cotton Bowl we thought we would be playing in the snow," Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle said.

A "cooler" practice with slight wind on Wednesday helped make for a better Wednesday effort after what Mike Shula said was a sluggish Tuesday.

"It was a little bit cooler, guys were into it," Shula said. "Today was a Wednesday type practice, tomorrow we'll go back and repeat what our normal Tuesday practice was."

The squad worked in shorts and shoulder pads after running in full pads on Tuesday. Tuesday and Wednesday type practices are normally the more intense workouts of the week. Players will have time to get their legs back under them on Saturday and Sunday before the 10 a.m. kickoff on Monday morning.

Wednesday evening the team will attend a private function at the Main Event-Lewisville, which offers bowling, laser tag games and other games. The team will practice at noon on Thursday and the player curfews will get earlier as the week progresses.

Former Mississippi State head coach and Alabama alumn Jackie Sherrill was among many visitors to practice this week. Former Alabama strength coach Ben Pollard, a Dolphins assistant with Shula, Robert Ford, and former Alabama defensive back Todd Richardson have all attended practice as well. Texas Tech verbal commit Greg McElroy has also attended an Alabama practice this week.

Shula said Matt Collins was still rehabilitating a knee he injured last week and that he was "not sure if he will play or not."

Shula said if he is unable to go DeMeco Ryans could slide to middle linebacker with Terrence Jones and Demarcus Waldrop backing up as outside linebackers if any starters were injured during the game. Prince Hall will not lose a redshirt year.

Bobby Greenwood, who broke his hand last week, has been practicing and should be ready to go on Monday.

No update was forthcoming on the status of receiver DJ Hall. "We're not going to announce any of our stuff," Shula said. "It's like announcing we're going to run a double reverse pass. I'm not going to announce that if you're wondering about that, either. All of our guys are getting ready to play right now. Unless I announce otherwise they are all going to play."

Hall said he took reps with both the scout team and regular offense yesterday. "All that comes from Coach Shula," Hall said. "I do what they tell me to do. If I get reps I'm in there, but if I don't it ain't much I can do. Anything else y'all have to ask Coach about. I'm just going day by day."

"I don't know where all this stuff is coming from," Hall said. "It's crazy to me, too. It's just I don't know about the whole starting situation and all that. Y'all have to ask Coach Shula about all that… It's just a matter of how things go in practice pretty much.

"Obviously if I wasn't playing I wouldn't be here. They ain't going to bring me all the way down here, spend all this money on me and put me in all these events. That's all I know as of right now."

Asked from where questions about his status might have arose, Hall said, "I might have some enemies man, I don't know. I don't have a clue."

Croyle said, "We just have to prepare the same way we always do. If he plays, he plays. If he doesn't, he doesn't. It's up to the coaches. We're going to have to play the game no matter what. Either way we have to go with it.


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