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.
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.
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.