Notes and thoughts from Alabama's practice
by Marq Burnett
Aug 03, 2013 | 3132 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama players try to stay cool during Saturday's practice. (Photo by Marq Burnett/The Anniston Star)
Alabama players try to stay cool during Saturday's practice. (Photo by Marq Burnett/The Anniston Star)
TUSCALOOSA -- After the squad was split up into two workout groups Friday, the veterans and newcomers finally were able to become acquainted on the field for Alabama’s second day of preseason practice.

As expected, the freshmen fell in line behind the experienced players as they continue to become acclimated with their new surroundings.

I spent much of my time watching the defensive backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks.

Here are some takeaways:

--Eight current football players received their degrees Saturday morning (Cade Foster, Jalston Fowler, Harrison Jones, Arie Kouandjio, Chad Lindsay, Tyler Love, Tana Patrick and Austin Shepherd.) Entering the 2013 season, 13 players on the active roster have earned their degrees.

--The wide receiver line was packed. The six quarterbacks were able to throw to multiple receivers in each drill before moving on to the next one.

--There were some errant throws made by the younger quarterbacks. This can be attributed to lack of timing with receivers.

--The connection between quarterback AJ McCarron and wide receiver Amari Cooper is a thing of beauty. It’s like a video game. McCarron throws to a spot before Cooper is out of his break, but Cooper always ends up in the right spot with the ball hitting him square in the hands. Expect these two to combine for a monster year.

--One of the new receivers was caught bending over during a drill to catch his breath and a coach politely told him, “We don’t bend over here, son.” Some of the young guys are still getting used to the high intensity of college football workouts.

--It’s still early, but Deion Belue and John Fulton took reps as the first two cornerbacks. Belue was the first left corner up, while Fulton worked the right side.

--Cyrus Jones was officially listed as a defensive back on the roster distributed to reporters today. Saban would not say whether Jones’ position change is a permanent one when asked Friday.

--Walk-on Jai Miller, the former pro baseball player, is ready and in shape. He doesn’t appear to be one the new guys who needs to adjust to the conditioning regime.

Up next: The Crimson Tide will take the field in Bryant-Denny Stadium Sunday at 2:30 p.m. for the team’s annual Fan Day. Players will wear shoulders pads as they run through drills in the team’s lone open practice. Fans may enter gates 11 and 17 beginning at 1:30 p.m.
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