Practice Report: Tuesday

The Rebels used Tuesday's workout during the open week to work on fundamentals and to take a closer look at the progress of some of the freshmen and lightly-used players. Read about it inside.

The Rebels held a relatively normal Tuesday practice in full pads in the IPF due to rain in the area. The two-hour workout was capped by a scrimmage of players who are not playing in games.

The emphasis for the varsity was on ball-handling skills and tackling drills.

"Our freshmen and guys not playing have done a great job for us on the scout team - guys like E.J. Epperson, Ferbia Allen, Brandon Sanders, Jason Jones, Nathan Stanley. Melvin Harris is really coming on. We also worked guys like Rishaw Johnson and Bradley Sowell, who have played some but not much. We wanted to keep them sharp and keep them going so we scrimmaged them at the end of practice. They've all worked hard so we gave them some extra attention today," Coach Houston Nutt said. "I know they loved it and we did too. They got a little scrimmage time and it was productive. I think we have a bunch of gym rats in the younger ranks and that's what you have to be to play in this league. They seem to love it and work hard at getting better.

"This was a good day for us fundamentally and we got a little look at Alabama."

Since the South Carolina game, some have asked why DE Greg Hardy did not play more. Nutt responded.

"Greg wasn't playing with the energy we are used to with him. He's a high level energy guy when he is at full throttle and he just wasn't there," Nutt said, "but he certainly wasn't the only one that day. We just weren't right that day. I thought we were ready, but when you watch the film you know we are faster and better than what we showed on that day.

"We beat Florida using a lot of guys and every one of them played with a lot of energy and intensity. But you have to be productive to be out there and we'll keep any eye on who's producing and who isn't. That was one problem Saturday - we didn't have a lot of people producing. If there was one guy who was playing at a high level, it was Ashlee Palmer. He had his best game. We want him to keep playing just like that."

Nutt said he's seen a lot of film on Alabama.

"They are a good football team, obviously. Their defense is very big and hard to move. They haven't given up a lot of points. Their offense is very efficient and hasn't turned the ball over much," he said. "They aren't real fancy, but they lead the league in rushing. Coffee gets behind those big tackles and guards and they move people out of there. We will have to stop the run first and then we have to stay on the field offensively to keep the ball away from them. We have to have a great gameplan for them.

"Their defensive front - Clemson, Georgia, nobody has been able to move them out and their linebackers - McClain in particular - play downhill and bring the hat. NT Terrence Cody is huge and can move. He's a load."

Safety Coach Kim Dameron was disappointed in some of the plays his guys didn't make against South Carolina, but he said it wasn't all them.

"It's a team game. On the same play where Jamarca took a bad angle and their tight end caught the long pass, we had a guy go to the wrong spot on a blitz. Had he gone to the right spot, he would have hit the QB in the mouth before he could throw the ball," Dameron noted. "It all works together and takes all 11 to make a play or give up a play. It's rarely one guy.

"When we get good pressure, our corners look really good. When we don't, they struggle some, like every corner in the league."

Random Notes:

* FS Kendrick Lewis was out of practice Tuesday because of some extensive dental work he had to have done Tuesday morning. No word on when he might return.

* FS Johnny Brown, who laid a crushing hit on South Carolina WR Jason Barnes and sustained a concussion for his efforts, was also out Tuesday. The earliest he would come back would be Thursday, but the odds are he will sit the entire open week and come back strong Sunday.

* CB Marcus Temple missed most of last week and the South Carolina game with a foot injury. He was back in action today.

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