A New Day

The leadership has changed but there were still remnants of the bunker mentality at Alabama football practice Saturday as the Crimson Tide awaits its bowl destination.

Interim Head Coach Joe Kines was the only member of the football squad – players or coaches – made available for media interviews after Saturday's practice, the first since the Alabama-Auburn game and Mike Shula's dismissal as head coach.

Kines, who put on a very entertaining post practice interview session, ensured a few changes to the early portion of practice, while players and coaches made a good show of energy during the 20 minutes media was allowed to watch practice. As in the Shula era, practiced was closed to the media after the first 20 minutes. Kines and the staff were vocal, and the players weren't showing any signs of lethargy.

The team stretched on the turf field as normal, but the special teams punting and placekicking drills remained on the turf field instead of moving to the natural grass surface.

Players were not available for interviews on Saturday, and have not been available since the post-game of Alabama's 22-15 loss to Auburn, with the exception of three who were selected to talk following Shula's ouster on Monday.

This week is dead week on the University of Alabama campus, meaning students are spending their time preparing for final exams, which run December 11-15. Alabama's media relations department expected to issue player quotes following the bowl selection announcements on Sunday, but current plans are that no players will be made available for interviews until next Saturday.

All of Alabama's assistant coaches were at practice Saturday. A Shula was also at practice on Saturday, but not Mike Shula. Dan Shula, who was named as a graduate assistant over the summer is still at work.

Charlie Kirshman was on crutches and did not practice. Others not practicing, or very limited, were Zeke Knight, Aaron McDaniel, Preston Dial, Terry Grant and Roy Upchurch.

Jimmy Johns wore a cast on his right hand, but Kines said he did practice as normal.

Sparky Woods

Joe Kines

David Turner

Dave Ungerer

Chris Ball

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