Tag Archives: Brad Smelley

Football practice update: Apr. 10th

Today, Alabama took the field for its 13th of 15 allowed spring practices and showed some noticeably stronger spirit as the Tide draws closer and closer to A-Day. Here is my breakdown of the headlines from today’s media viewing period.

Runningbacks

No depth chart changes, as Jalston Fowler remains the top dog in Eddie Lacy’s absence. However, there are some injury updates. Blake Sims participated in some, but not all, of the individual drills today. He had been out for 9 of the 13 practices due to a hip injury he suffered playing basketball over spring break. It looks like the coaching staff is trying to ease him back into the swing of things.

Also, as you all know, Eddie Lacy has been held out of practice with the same toe injury that plagued him throughout the 2011 season. However, the BrettAtBama staff (which remains at one person) has spotted him walking campus numerous times without the protective boot that he normally wears. Recently, he has not been seen at the practice facility. No one is certain of what is happening with Lacy, but we will look into and continue reporting on it.

In one more tidbit of news, star recruit T.J. Yeldon had a rather sizable tape club around his left hand, obviously protecting it. It looked like a smaller version of the club former Ole Miss LB Patrick Willis sported during his career, if any of you remember that. More on that as it becomes available.

H-Back/Tight End

Replacing Brad Smelley is certainly less than easy, but the Tide has been trying out numerous players to fill his shoes. Head coach Nick Saban even moved RB/LB Brent Calloway to that position to see what he could do there.

As of right now, it looks like Michael Williams will be the frontrunner and play more than anyone else. Not far behind him are Brian Vogler and Harrison Jones, who seem to be jockeying for position back-and-forth, with Brent Calloway have difficulty grasping the ins-and-outs of the position and Malcolm Faciane not quite talented enough to stick with the others. Here are some situation I could see taking place.

No. 1 – TE: Michael Williams; H-Back: Brian Vogler/Harrison Jones. Malcolm Faciane brought in as a TE for Jumbo packages (goal line situations) with Brent Calloway as a the ‘breather’ guy (the guy who comes in when someone needs a break.

No. 2 – TE: 1, Michael Williams. 2, Brian Vogler; H-Back: Harrison Jones. Malcolm Faciane and Brent Calloway coming into the game in certain packages.

Disclaimer: These are just guesses. We’ll know more when A-Day comes around.

Tune back later tonight or follow @BrettAtBama on twitter for comments from today’ post-practice press conference.

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BrettAtBama Recap: Iron Bowl

I can’t decide if it was Leave No Doubt or Never Again. Whatever inspired this team to do that to their rivals, the Auburn Tigers, I think the Alabama faithful are enjoying it.

In the Breakdown, I made it clear that I felt like Alabama had to be physical on offense in order to win this game. In the first half, AJ McCarron certainly proved me wrong. The coaching staff felt confident in the mismatch they had when it came to their wide receiving corps and tight ends versus Auburn’s secondary. McCarron exploited this well in the first half on his way to three first half passing touchdowns, one on a fleaflicker to Kenny Bell, and 184 yards for the game.

Brad Smelley was big for the Tide today, catching six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. Stat of the Day in the passing game: McCarron’s completion percentage, at 78.2%. That’s an astronomically high number for someone who caught so much heat coming in, being a well-known gunslinger type.

The second half, however, was exactly that physical style of play I thought Alabama was going to bring. Trent Richardson had 61 yards rushing in the first half, which was more than Auburn had given up in the first half of the previous two Iron Bowls, but was not exactly what Alabama fans that wanted Richardson to make a Heisman statement against Auburn were hoping for. Then Richardson turned it on in the second half, exploding to his final tally of 203, literally throwing Auburn defenders to the ground in the process.

Defensively, it was a great shut-down effort by the Tide D. The Tigers offense didn’t score at all in this game, 7 of those points coming from a pick-up 6 and the other 7 from a kickoff return. In the Breakdown, I stressed the ability of the Alabama defense being able to keep up with the offensive pace and stop the passing attack. For whatever reason, Auburn defensive coordinator decided to slow it down against a bigger defense. Not his smartest decision.

Why, you ask? Well, maybe it was the fact that Clint Mosley was held to 62 passing yards. Maybe it was the fact that Alabama’s third string running back, Jalston Fowler’s one carry of the day was longer than any attempt by Auburn ball carriers. Or maybe it was the fact that Auburn’s top two receivers combined to have less yards than Bell, who had only two catches all game long.

Coming into the game, the names that were supposed  to cause the Crimson Tide defense trouble were Onterio McCalebb, Michael Dyer, Kiehl Frazier and Phillip Lutzenkirchen. They combined to have 182 yards, less than what Richardson got by himself. Embarrassing.

But, on that topic, what about this win wasn’t embarrassing for the Tigers? (Patiently awaiting an answer). Seriously, if you can answer that question intelligently, shoot me an email. I want to know.

Now Alabama fans just have to sit and wait. The general consensus is that Alabama’s bowl game will be in New Orleans. Will it be the Sugar Bowl or the BCS National Championship Game? Only time will tell.

BrettAtBama Photo/Video Gallery: Georgia Southern

Above you can see the Tide take the field and receive the opening kickoff. At the bottom you will see video of players walking off the field after the victory, with some pictures thrown in for fun, too. Enjoy!DSCN0571

 

 

 

 

 

The coaching staff telling their DSCN0580players, “IT’S THE FOURTH QUARTER! IT’S WINNIN’ TIME!!”

 

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Georgia Southern brought an eagle with them. This one didn’t fly over the field before the game like the one in Auburn, but the eagle did make the trip. That is much more than Mike the Tiger can say.

 

 

 

BrettAtBama Week In Review: Mississippi State

Contrary to what some members of the fanbase may be telling you, there is still football in Tuscaloosa. The loss to LSU did not end the season, with the players and coaches preaching finish strong. In the process, there were some headlines throughout the week, and here’s what you need to know.

As you saw in the practice video, Barrett Jones is having issues with his right ankle. He has been in non-contact jerseys all week long and has yet to participate in regular individual drills. Coach Saban says he is day-to-day, but my hunch says he is more in the doubtful range.

Dre Kirkpatrick missed some practice after suffering a concussion against LSU, but he was back on Wednesday. However, he was still wearing a black non-contact jersey. He could be a game-time decision for Mississippi State.

Just a few quick hitters left. Brad Smelley didn’t practice on Monday, but never wore a non-contact jersey and was back in practice on Wednesday. He looks to be ok. Also, Dee Hart missed some practice this week with some personal issues that Saban did not elaorate on. His return should be timely, though.

That’s all for this week’s BrettAtBama Week in Review. Be ready for the BrettAtBama Breakdown, coming soon.

Football Practice Update: November 7th, 2011

Hello, Readers! Now that status quo in Tuscaloosa is (nearly) restored after the loss to LSU, it’s time to get back to the Mal Moore Athletic Complex for preparations for the upcoming road game against Mississippi State. Here’s some information I was able to gather at practice today.DSCN0533

Offensive lineman Barrett Jones was in a black non-contact jersey, and appeared to be experiencing some pain in his right ankle. He was inactive in practice today and is still listed as day-to-day. The second picture is a close-up of the brace on his right ankle.

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Also in a black non-contact jersey was Dre Kirkpatrick, who was experiencing concussion like symptoms after his run-in with Tyrann Mathieu. As per the norm with concussions, he is listed as day-to-day.

DSCN0538The real head scratcher of the day was Brad Smelley not practicing. He was not in a non-contact black jersey and I didn’t notice any extra padding or protection on him during practice. I’ll update you more as I know it.

All photos in this post are BrettAtBama originals.