Tide Has A Light Day

If a day of two-a-day football practices could be termed "light," Alabama had a light day Friday. However, the pace will pick up again Saturday.

The Crimson Tide was out for two sessions Friday, the morning workout in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts, the evening practice in helmets and shorts. Part of the evening practice was in the indoor facility because of inclement weather.

Alabama Head Coach Dennis Franchione said the workout was light Friday because both Saturday sessions will be in full gear. Alabama will have a morning practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium that is the annual "kicking scrimmage," a practice of about an hour that will be devoted to the kicking game, particularly coverage and returns. The Tide will go back to Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon for a workout that will include "a little" scrimmage work.

"We wanted them to be fresh Saturday and felt we had gotten done what we wanted to."

Part of Friday's work was spent on special situations, including gimmick plays.

It was Brodie Croyle's day off Friday. Just as first team quarterback Tyler Watts had been held out of passing drills Thursday, second team quarterback Brodie Croyle was given the day off Friday. And third team quarterback Spencer Pennington will get either Saturday or Monday off. "We think it helps those guys," Franchione said.

If there is a concern on the Alabama coaching staff it is that wide receiver Antonio Carter is slow recovering from the pain associated with off-season surgery, in which a rod was interted into his leg. Franchione said the healing has gone as expected, but that Carter's pain "is discouraging." He said Carter "has not done much" in two-a-day practices. On the plus side, he said it has given players like Brandon Greer and Joel Babb an opportunity. And Franchione said that wide receivers Sam Collins, Triandos Luke, and Dre Fulgham have done well.

Freshman tailback Ken Darby was in a sling Friday because of a shoulder sprain that is likely to sideline him for up to two weeks. Alabama opens the season in two weeks, hosting Middle Tennessee State at Birmingham's Legion Field on August 31.

Franchione said little about the Alabama appearance before the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee Friday. Franchione, who was not at the hearing, said, "I heard they felt they had done what they had to do and didn't leave any stone unturned. But I can't spend energy on that. I'm spending all my energy on getting this team ready."

Alabama's legal team spent only half a day before the Infractions Appeals Committee in Chicago. While much information will be forthcoming from The University next week, for the moment the only information was a statement saying, "Although we cannot predict any outcome, we feel no stone has been left unturned in the presentation of our appeal."

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