T uesday Alabama head coach Nick Saban divulged a few nuggets following the Tide’s practice as efforts now turn to preparation for Virginia Tech.
Bama receiver Amari Cooper was said to be nursing a strained foot. Said Saban about his sophomore receiver:
“[Cooper will be] out for a few days and then day to day. I don’t think he’s going to be hurt for a long time.”
More news on the injury front, cornerback Deion Belue’s hamstring issues from the summer have carried over into practice.
“We’re trying to nurse him along so that he doesn’t have another setback,” said Saban.
Inside linebacker Trey Depriest has been suspended “for a short time” according to Saban for violating team rules, and could return to the team within a week “if he does what he’s supposed to do.”
“I don’t have to suspend any player,” Saban said about the suspension of a veteran player. “I don’t like suspending players. If we’re going to suspend any players, it’s going to be in their best interest to change their behavior. We only do it in the best interest of the player. We have a lot of respect for Trey. He’s played very well for us. He made a mistake. He didn’t do the right thing. Wasn’t a very smart thing to do. There has to be consequences sometimes. Hopefully he will learn from it.”
The tightend position continues to be somewhat of a mystery on this team, as Saban said today they played with the possibility of moving OL Brandon Green to the position. Saban has already experimented with DE LaMichael Fanning there. Though today he did say Brian Vogler “has done a good job.” The thought is a bigger tightend is needed to help in short yardage situations.
Along those lines, tight end Malcolm Faciane has rejoined the team following a 30-day suspension.
Experimentation continues as well with Arie Kouandjio, as Saban put it, “we’re trying to see what the best combination of guys is to try to give us the best opportunity.”
The elder Kouandjio brother had battled knee injury in years past, but appears to be healed and playing with power as the coaching staff places their confidence in him securing a spot somewhere on the starting unit, at “left guard or left tackle.” If he took the left tackle spot it would mean he unseated his younger brother, who many have said is the projected #1 tackle prospect in next year’s NFL draft. Interesting…
Saban also had much praise for the Tide’s freshman stable of running backs, saying “all the freshmen running backs are really good. I think they will all contribute.” But he took a moment to single a couple of them out.
“Some the guys have shown a little more maturity in learning and being able to sustain performance. Derrick Henry being here in the spring helped him. Altee Tenpenny is a guy who seems to get it. He’s grounded and seems to grasp things and sort of learn quickly. The other guys have done a good job as well.”
Across the state, I found it interesting that “Cam Newton, Jr.” as he was tabbed by the Auburn delusionalists is now playing in an entirely different kind of backfield…on defense. Kheil Frazier has apparently moved to safety.
Meanwhile the remaining possibilities at quarterback appear to be a true freshman and a converted defensive back who threw 19 picks in junior college. Roll Tide.