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Spring Practice Report: New attitude, and new McCarron on practice field

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spring practice reportAlabama completed its second day of its 2014 spring practice on Monday; according to linebacker Trey Depriest, a new attitude is permeating the team.

“Guys are just a lot more hungry,” senior linebacker Trey DePriest said Saturday. “We didn’t finish the season like we wanted to. Guys knew that and they just took a different approach to it, and are trying to get back to the standard to how we do stuff.”

ESPN’s Monday Sportscenter feature “Rebuilding Bama” featured DePriest and receiver Amari Cooper, where the players talked about the need to connect with one another off the field as well as on.

In the weeks leading up until spring practice Alabama head coach Nick Saban has praised the Tide’s “focus” throughout its offseason conditioning work, specifically pointed toward the Crimson Tide’s “new attitude.”

Other spring notes:

• AJ McCarron’s younger brother Corey McCarron has been seen lining up in the Tide backfield in the “H-back” position. A tightend, it appears the younger McCarron may be making the transition to this spot.

• Is Bama’s next quarterback on campus yet? Blake Sims, Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman, Parker McCleod and David Cornwell are working in groups Saturday and Monday. However, FSU transfer Jacob Coker set to join the Tide this summer. All but Sims were highly touted as prep players (Sims was an “athlete”). Watching this quarterback battle will be more than interesting.

• As expected, OL Chad Lindsey is not participating in spring drills, planning to transfer. Walk-on safety Jai Miller and reserve tightend Harrison Jones aren’t listed on the spring roster either.

• After just two practices, freshman corner Tony Brown is already looking the part. Desperately in need of a shut down corner (or corners), it appears Nick Saban has him another one. Saban could be heard praising Brown on the practice field.

• When CJ Moseley is drafted this April, Saban will have had a linebacker taken in the 1st round in four of the last five NFL drafts. The cubbard appears full for future drafts with DePriest, Denzell Devall, Reggie Ragland, Dillon Lee, Xavier Dickson, Ryan Anderson, Shaun Dion Hamilton, DJ Pettway, Reuben Foster, Tim Williams and Walker Jones. This talented bunch will of course be joined by Rashaan Evans, Keith Holcombe and Christian Miller in the fall.

Leon Brown and Cam Robinson have been seen doing work at left tackle.

• Receiver DeAndrew White has been in a black non-contact jersey dong conditioning work.

• Some jersey changes and reveals:

DB 2 Tony Brown
CB 3 Bradley Sylve
DB 6 Hootie Jones
WR 7 Cam Sims
LB 10 Reuben Foster
LB 11 Shaun Dion Hamilton
QB 12 David Cornwell
LB 19 Reggie Ragland
DE 57 DJ Pettway
OL 58 Brandon Greene
OL 74 Cam Robinson
DL 90 Jarran Reed

3 thoughts on “Spring Practice Report: New attitude, and new McCarron on practice field”

  1. The footage I’ve seen has been awesome.

    Dammit, I miss football. It’s just good to see a team of military-grade champions wearing crimson helmets executing fundamentals over and over again.

    But hey, I’m a fundamentals kinda guy, what can I say?

    Fundamentals = football

    I know the QB battle is a tricky one (and I’m on the record swearing at A-Day years ago that this little AJ McCarron kid was going to be a poor backup for Alabama’s clear choice on the next new QB, Phillip Sims), but the work I’ve seen footage of with Kiffin and the receiving corp has been quicker and more deliberate, notably with extra speed off the line, which may indicate deeper routes. Shades of John Parker Wilson, perhaps? Alabama will run the ball, but despite having a near-perfect offensive run/pass balance the last two years, things might be changing more towards the pass…

    Just kidding, of course. This is fundamental football. This is Nick Saban’s team. Passing will likely never surpass running.

    Dammit, I miss football.

    Off-topic, but I used to live across the street from the practice field, caddy-corner from Jacks. I can’t help but notice the giant new structure they’re building next to Jacks—-does anyone have any idea what that is? I’ll probably walk by it during A-Day weekend but I’m curious, it wasn’t there the last time I saw it in the fall.

  2. Actually Bama trended toward more of a passing team in 2013, averaging about 250ypg passing and only 205ypg running. Whatever trend the 2014 team of Saban and Kiffin leans toward will be determined by the abilities of the offensive line. If they don’t block any better than they did last year, this offense with IKiffin could easily become a 3:1 pass/run ratio like the Cotton Bowl, or 2:1 like the IB games were.

    1. Did you happen to notice the line work? That was the first footage I saw from practice. Fundamentals, strength, form, it’s enough to get excited about.

      If that’s not enough, don’t forget the six o-line recruits Alabama just picked up, including three in the #1 spot in their respective positions. Sure, many are saying this is Alabama’s best o-line class of all time, but I understand if that’s not enough. We’ve gotten one or two in most years, and this year we pretty much got all of them.

      We lose Cyrus Kuandjio to the first round in the NFL draft, a fate shared by four o-linemen in recent years including Andre Smith, DJ Fluker and James Carpenter (never mind the ones drafted after the first round).

      Of course, grabbing the #1 o-lineman in the 2014 class, Cameron Robinson (out of LA, no less) certainly doesn’t hurt, never mind juco transfer Dominick Jackson, or the #3 guard, the #1 & #2-ranked centers, etc.

      Also note these guys want to be the best. They were deliberately spending time together even before they signed and the chemistry, well, let’s just say I think the only people that should be worried about Alabama’s offensive line aren’t Alabama fans. I know it’s early for most of these guys, but still, it’s hard not to get excited. This is no flash-in-the-pan team.

      “There’s an expectation that few other places have,” Cameron Robinson said. “I didn’t want to go someplace and have zero expectations. I always thought I thrived on stress, and being an offensive tackle at Alabama, there is plenty of it.”

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