PRACTICE REPORT: Football practices in front of large crowd

Terrin Waack

The University of Alabama football team had a large audience for its 11th spring practice Friday afternoon. Coach Nick Saban, along with the rest of the Alabama football coaching stuff, is currently hosting the 2016 Clinic of Champions, which features coaches from all across the nation, including Steve Spurrier, Tony Dungy, Frank Beamer and Jeff Stoutland. The clinic started on Thursday and will wrap up on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, the Crimson Tide will have its third scrimmage in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Then, Alabama will return to practice on Tuesday and Thursday before hosting A-Day on April 16.

PRACTICE NOTES:

  • Defensive linemen ran a 2-on-1 drill where two players tried to strip the football from the third player. Jonathan Allen, Dalvin Tomlinson and Christian Miller were one of the many groups. More towards the end of the media-viewing period, the defensive linemen worked on their reaction time to a simulated snap with shuffling to the side and blocking.
  • Ross Pierschbacher, Jonah Williams and other offensive linemen worked on their agilities and physicality as they shuffled sideways then made a quick burst to block.
  • Shortly into the media-view period, the Crimson Tide split up into two large groups. The defense was clumped together on one half of the practice field, the offense on the other. They ran through some game-like situations, then split back up into their respective position groups.
  • Saban, per usual, was with the secondary. He had the defensive backs, such as Tony Brown, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laurence Hootie Jones, work on their speed by running backwards and changing direction while running. Then, the group focused on one-on-one coverage and getting interceptions.
  • The quarterbacks, such as David Cornwell and Cooper Bateman, worked with the wide receivers. They ran routes that required deep passes, some of which were seen dropped.
  • O.J. Howard led the tight ends in a drill the required running under a piece of equipment, then cutting left to catch a quick pass. After running through that drill a few times, the group worked on blocking.
  • The running backs were on the far side of the practice field and through the sea of football coaches were hard to see. It looked like they were focusing on their speed.
  • Offensive lineman Cam Robinson, tight end Dakota Ball and Allen were wearing black, non-contact jerseys. Da’Shawn Hand and Shawn Jennings were absent from practice. During previous practices, the two have worn black, non-contact jerseys.