Alabama opens Fall Camp

#12 Greg McElroy Photo by UA
Greg McElroy at first practice of 2009. Photo by UA

It is has begun. Practice is underway. The hours of boredom are over. Fans can now talk about practice. The players get to focus on learning the lessons that build champions. One such lesson is that each game matters. It was something highlighted by the Sugar Bowl. Memories of which linger.

Utah began its 2009 practice by remembering how it ended the 2008 season. The Utes took the practice field to the tune of “Sweet Home Alabama”, according to Tommy Deas blog at the Tidesports.com. And what does this mean for Alabama? Deas writes, “It’s an insult, and one well deserved if the loss could have been avoided by players and a fan base who took the opportunity to play in the Sugar Bowl as seriously as they should have.”

The mood at the end of 2008 was different than the mood for most of the 2008 season. Expectations changed, and it was apparent in the preparation and play.

Fans are watching fall camp for signs of what to expect for 2009. It is too early to know for sure, but the players are saying the right things.

“It’s the first day and we had some pep in our step,” Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy said. “As one of the leaders of the offense, I want to be the first one in line. I want to be the first one to do everything. It might sound cliché and it might sound like something that might not be important to most, but it’s important to me to lead the guys. If that’s being the first in a drill, situation, or area on the field, I want to be that guy.”

That sounds good. McElroy could be a strong leader for this team.

The proof will be actions throughout camp, and not just the first day.

In some ways, Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has a tougher task ahead of him this season. Last year players had a thirst to prove something. This year, players should see the Crimson Tide favored in most games, and could be tempted to be satisfied with their accomplishments. Keeping the team focused on work is a priority.

Some links:
The Bama Beat has the rundown on the major news from the early and late practice sessions at the Capstone. Of course, the big news was the sad news about the death of Kerry Murphy’s brother in what police are treating as a homicide.

Report: Brookstone’s Brian Vogler to be in Under Armour all-star game

Tuscaloosa News: Slimmer Cody may be big help for Tide. Terrence Cody is at 354 pounds to begin camp.