One Final Week

Alabama's football team returns to the practice field this week, the final week of spring training. The A-Day Game is set for 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday. The team and coaches have spent the past week away from footbll as The University had its spring break. Players report back for physical examinations Monday, and resume practice Tuesday.

Alabama completed 12 of the allotted 15 practices prior to the start of spring break. Bama has also had two of the three permitted practices in which scrimmage work (11 vs. 11 in full gear) accounted for more than half the practicee.

The A-Day game will be the third of those scrimmage days. Crimson Tide Coach Mike Shula will reveal the nature of the Crimson-White game this week. It is most likely to be a game-type scrimmage (not including kickoffs). It could have the first team offense and defense on one side, or it could divide the team so that the first offense goes against the first defense and the second offense goes against the second defense.

It could also be a scrimmage in which it is simply offense vs. defense if the staff determines there is not enough depth to supply two full teams for a "game."

Regardless of the form, quarterbacks John Parker Wilson, Marc Guillon and Jimmy Barnes will not be "live," meaning they will be protected by the whistle as well as by blockers and not tackled by defenders.

Other events Saturday include Fan Day at Coleman Coliseum, where coaches and players will be available for autographs and photographs, and the ceremony at Denny Chimes in which 2005 captains Brodie Croyle and DeMeco Ryans will have their hand- and foot-prints placed in the concrete plaza.

Alabama has one of the three mandatory non-contact practices remaining and that will be Tuesday. The other practice this week will be a full gear workout on Thursday. Prior to spring break Shula said that Thursday practice would be a "tough" one.

The break in spring practice was forced by a change in The University calendar, which moved spring break to an earlier date this year.

Prior to the break, Shula said he hoped that some players who have been our or limited by injuries might be able to return for the final week. They would include wide receivers Nikita Stover (who has been slowed with a groin pull) and Will Oakley (out with a hamstring pull); center Evan Cardwell limited by (ankle); fullback Baron Huber (out with knee); and defensive end Chris Harris (limited with strained oblique).

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