Alabama Practice Report 3/25: Tide Practices in Full Pads For First Time
Alabama returned to the practice field for its second spring practice of the week, third overall, Wednesday afternoon. The players practiced outside on the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields in full pads for the first time this spring.
- Though he was dressed out, left tackle Cam Robinson appeared limited, watching the first- and second-team groups off to the side. Last season, Robinson was initially expected to miss several weeks with an ankle injury suffered against Tennessee, but he returned in time for the next start. In all, he started all 14 games as a true freshman in 2014. Brandon Greene, a rising redshirt junior, filled in for Robinson at left tackle in his absence.
- Running back Kenyan Drake moved over to practice with the wide receivers during the second media-viewing session of practice. He also did this on Monday. It’s doubtful that this is an indication of an official move to the position. Drake, as many are aware, is among the Crimson Tide’s most versatile offensive weapons.
- Running back Tyren Jones (suspension) and offensive lineman Grant Hill (medical leave) were absent for a third consecutive practice.
- Shaun Dion Hamilton was leading the inside linebackers alongside Reggie Ragland. This has been the case thus far in each of the team's three spring practices.
- Dillon Lee worked with the outside linebackers.
- Defensive lineman Johnny Dwight continues to work with the tight ends at practice, along with fellow defensive lineman Dakota Ball, who practiced there for much of last season.
- Nick Saban’s other “experiment” that he described after the team’s first practice on March 13, defensive lineman Korren Kirven, continues to practice with the offensive linemen for the third straight time this spring, wearing his usual No. 78.
- Defensive back Ronnie Clark is also still practicing with the running backs.
- A new but not necessarily permanent position change is defensive back Anthony Averett to wide receiver, wearing No. 16 instead of his usual No. 28. He practiced there on Monday, though it was unclear at the time who the player was.
- In the secondary, Alabama was working in its nickel package. Eddie Jackson and Tony Brown were the two starting corners, while Jabriel Washington and Geno Smith were the two safeties. Laurence "Hootie" Jones, a rising sophomore, was at the Star position.
- The next group was Marlon Humphrey and Bradley Sylve at corner, Jones and Ronnie Harrison at safety, and Maurice Smith at Star.
- Cornerback Cyrus Jones (hip) and outside linebacker Denzel Devall (foot) wore black non-contact jerseys as they rode stationary bikes throughout the two media-viewing sessions of practice.
- Former Alabama linebacker Freddie Roach, who joined the staff in late February from South Alabama, looked like he was helping with the defensive linemen. According to reports, he was hired in off-field player development role. He previously served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the program from 2008-2010.
- Former Alabama defensive lineman Wilson Love appears to be a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach. For the past two practices, the Mountain Brook High School product has been overseeing the injured Jones and Devall along with head strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran.
- Several other former Alabama football players Amari Cooper, Jalston Fowler, Arie Kouandjio, Nick Perry, Brian Vogler, Anthony Orr, Josh Chapman and Marquis Maze were also spotted at practice, but they were simply watching.
- A number of high school football coaches were attendance. Alabama's 2015 coaching clinic begins tomorrow, March 26, and runs until this Saturday, March 28. For more on that, including the featured coaching guests who will be there, click here.
Saban and selected players will speak to reporters around 6 p.m. after today’s practice.
Check out videos and photos from Wednesday's practice: