Terrence Cody Out At Least Two Weeks
Alabama, ranked second in the nation with a 7-0 record, has been particularly good on defense this year in great part because of the play of Terrence Cody, a 6-5, 365-pound junior college transfer. Cody was injured early in the second half of Bama's 24-20 win over Ole Miss Saturday.
Alabama is preparing this week to go to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee is 3-4, but coming off an impressive 34-3 win over Mississippi State. Kickoff Saturday will be at 7:45 p.m. EDT (6:45 p.m. central) with national television coverage by ESPN.
Earlier this year Alabama lost its best offensive lineman, left tackle Andre Smith, with a sprained knee. Smith was out for one game.
After the Tennessee contest, Alabama is home on November 1 for a homecoming contest against Arkansas State before heading to LSU on November 8 for what is expected to be a key game for the SEC Western Division championship.
Cody's place in the starting lineup will be taken by Josh Chapman, a 6-1, 305-pound sophomore.
Saban said, "You don't replace a guy like Cody. He has played very well. But I would hope our team would support the guys who are going to play. We'll support Cody to get well, but we have to support the players who are going to play and the leaders on this team understand that."
The coach also said that Alabama would not change its plans. "Cody is a good player, but we have other good players. We'll have the same schemes."
Saban pointed out that Chapman has been alternating with Cody. "It's not like he hasn't been out there," the coach said. "He's been in on about a third of the run plays. He has played all year and he did a good job in the Ole Miss game.
"He has strength and plays with power. He's a true nose tackle."
Nick Gentry was the back-up nose tackle against Ole Miss after Cody's injury. Saban said, "Nick is a little different style than the others. He is quick. He's very good on pass rush. He has done a good job on special teams and now he should have more opportunity on defense."
Saban pointed out that Lorenzo Washington, a 6-5, 275-pound junior, had played nose tackle last year. Washington has been playing defensive end this season.
Cornerback Javier Arenas said, "There isn't a team in the country that wouldn't miss Cody, but we'll step it up. What Cody gives is unbelievable penetration. You watch and you see two guys trying to block him and they are both getting pushed back two or three yards. I don't care if you're All-Globe, you can't block him."
Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson said, "Josh (Chapman) is the strongest guy on our team and a very good player. He's not as big as Cody, but he's stronger. He squats more than all of my lifts combined."
Chapman seemed at ease with his new responsibility. "My role has changed, but not that much," he said. "I know the plays as well as Cody does."
Chapman and Cody spent time together following the Ole Miss game. "We chilled for about an hour like we always do," he said. "Cody knows what he has to do. He's down, but he's relieved it's nothing more serious. He'll be out a couple of weeks."
Andre Smith said, "There's a little pain. We have a good training staff here. I think he'll be back extremely fast, just like I was."
Smith was asked how much time he spent in the training room when he was injured. "If I wasn't in class, I was in the training room," he said.
Saban was asked if a big player had more difficulty recovering from a knee injury. The coach said, "Size has no relationship to how fast you heal. The doctors aren't trying to make a prediction. You rehab to heal and continue physical conditioning so you'll be able to play (when healed). Those are factors that can be controlled."
Chapman said that "Cody brings a lot to the table. I try to bring the same thing. I know any center would prefer to see me than Cody. He's a big load."
Chapman was asked if his family was excited about the opportunity he would have. "Maybe," he said. "But they like Cody, too. Everyone likes Cody."
Chapman is best known as the Tide's strongest player. He squats 600 pounds and bench presses 485. "There's no room on the bar for any more weight," said Arenas. "When he's lifting, everyone else gathers around to watch. He's the Incredible Hulk."
Chapman said that he relaxes when lifting weights, something he has done religiously since the ninth grade. He said he also enjoys the competition in the weight room as teammates attempt to reach Chapman's numbers. He said that linebacker Rolando McClain is good competition. "He can squat a house," Chapman said.
Chapman isn't worried about his back-up, either. He said Gentry, a 6-1, 254-pound sophomore, "might be small, but he is strong as an ox. He has a good burst off the ball. He is good at rushing the passer. I think he's a great player."
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