Quarterback Challenge Possible

The quarterback position was not high on the list of expectant battles during Alabama's spring training, but at Saturday's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium it will be one of the more intriguing positions to watch.

Last year's backup to Brodie Croyle and incumbent first-string quarterback John Parker Wilson is expected to split time evenly with Marc Guillon as they will rotate leading the first- and second-string offenses.

Guillon has thrown the ball better than expected throughout the first half of the spring, and he could throw his name in the hat as true competition for the job with a good scrimmage Saturday.

"We're still evaluating," Alabama Head Coaching Mike Shula. "I think both guys have had good days and both guys have had inconsistent days. Tomorrow will be good for each guy just to manage the game and run the offense.

"I think Marc has thrown it as well as he's ever thrown it since he's been here, though. So we'll see how he does tomorrow."

Inconsistency has come from the quarterbacks in more turnovers than the head coach wants. "The main thing for those guys, we just can't turn the ball over. We're not going to win games if we turn the ball over. We've got to do like we did last year. We were good in that last year," Shula said.

There have not been any major moves in the depth chart through nine days of practice. "Not quite yet," Shula said. "I think tomorrow we'll probably think about that question a lot more."

Zeke Knight appeared to be more comfortable in his new home at the defensive end position on Friday. "Ezekial Knight probably had his best practice," Shula said. "He had two sacks in the two-minute drill."

Shula said starting halfback Kenneth Darby will probably get a few plays in tomorrow's scrimmage. He has been limited some this spring with tendonitis in his knee.

Defensive linemen Wallace Gilberry and Byron Walton will probably also miss the scrimmage with injuries. Gilberry had a hip pointer and Walton suffered a mild concussion and strained neck Thursday. Niether injury appears serious.

Right guard B.J. Stabler missed Friday's practice, but should be in tomorrow's scrimmage. Stabler had soreness in the knee he had arthroscopic surgery during fall camp last year.

"He's had a sore knee and he's been practicing," Shula said. "It kind of flared up today but B.J. will be in there tomorrow. We just have to monitor it to make sure he doesn't get too much."

Shula said that Will Oakley could possibly return to practice next week, but he was more certain Oakley would be able to get some work in the final week of practice after spring break. Oakley has been out with hamstring trouble.


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