Alabama Scrimmage Set Today

Alabama football is now three weeks from starting the 2009 season. The Crimson Tide completed its 11th practice of fall camp Friday afternoon and will scrimmage for the first time Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The scrimmage, like all preseason practices, is closed to the public.

Alabama practiced for two hours in shells Friday in the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility on the eve of first scrimmage of the preseason.

In other news on Friday, Alabama senior defensive lineman Terrence Cody and junior linebacker Rolando McClain were among 65 players named to the 2009 Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List. The Bednarik Award is given annually by the Maxwell Football Club to the best defensive player in college football. Cody and McClain are among 14 SEC players recognized on the preseason watch list.

After Saturday's scrimmage, the team will take Sunday off and return to the practice field for the final two-a-day practice of fall camp on Monday.

Alabama is three weeks away from its season opening game against Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Kickoff for that Sept. 5 game will be at 8 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. central) with national coverage by ABC. ESPN Gameday will also be in Atlanta for the game.

In the pre-season Coaches Poll, Alabama was ranked xith and Virginia Tech eighth.

"For this scrimmage, we want the players to play what they have been practicing," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said Thursday. "We want the young players to play where they have been playing so we can evaluate them as football players. Basically, we are going to play our offense and our defense and play against each other. We are still evaluating where people are in their development and how they can contribute to our team based on what we do. We are not really concerned with what anybody else does.

"If we can make some evaluations of which guys are we going to invest our time in to coach for this year and that is going to be critical. So if we get too complicated in what we are doing and don't allow them to go out there and just fundamentally do what they know, it could have some effect on our ability to evaluate.

"The first team will probably do a little bit more than some of the other guys and hopefully we will get everybody a good number of reps, so we can make an evaluation," Saban said. "Because some guys play a lot better when the lights go on and some guys don't play as well. So this is the only way we have to evaluate. We have two scrimmages and this is the first one and I think it's important that we get the right people in the right place and start development in those positions after we have this first scrimmage."

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