McCarron was asked if it's difficult to play for Saban. He artfully spins the answer to remind people why many elite high school recruits come to Alabama. "It's not difficult at all," McCarron said. "You know you're gonna get the best out of him, and he expects the best out of you."McCarron, a 6-foot-4, 205-pounder from St. Paul's Episcopal in Mobile, was thrust into the limelight last season after a now infamous "teachable moment." Saban administered what had been described as a "spanking" by former two-year starting quarterback Greg McElroy in a very light-hearted interview.
"Me and Phillip talk about it. If I've got to share time to, if he's got to be the guy or I've got to be the guy, we'll both support each other at the end of the day. "There's no problem sharing time. As long as you're winning, it doesn't matter."
The hard hitting starts Tuesday at Alabama's preseason camp. The Tide will practice for the first time in full pads. Teams must practice the first two days of fall camp in shorts and no shoulder pads. Then they can practice with shorts and shoulder pads for two days. After one day in full pads, teams can begin two-a-day practices. Alabama will hold four sessions of two-a-days, beginning Wednesday.
Some players already are playing through some aches and pains. Junior inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower seemed to injure his left hand or wrist in Sunday's practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and during early drills today, he paused to get some extra tape wrapped around the sore area. Junior running back Trent Richardson continues to press on despite a left leg that still is wrapped. Backup running back Eddie Lacy and redshirt freshman tight end Brian Vogler were not in the back jerseys that they wore Sunday.
UA continues to await final word on the status of transfer wide receiver Duron Carter. The junior-college transfer is not on the practice field pending the evaluation of his transcript from Coffeyville (Kans.) Junior College. Carter is expected to wear the No. 8 jersey number that belonged to UA All-America receiver Julio Jones for the last three years, if and when he clears the eligibility process. (Freshman Jeoffrey Pagan is wearing No. 8 on defense, but UA has several duplicate numbers on its squad at this point in the pre-season.)
"Dee Millner was a freshman (last season) and regardless of what position you play and your potential to be a good player, football is a developmental game so you are going to get to be a lot better player past your freshman year," Nick Saban said Sunday. "He did a really good job for us last year. "One thing we continue to work on is that he has better knowledge and experience, but I talk about finishing being a mindset; finishing plays and finishing the game and not being a guy that as soon as things seem to be going well you become at ease with yourself. He’s made a tremendous amount of improvement in that. At his position when you play in the corner in the secondary, when you make a mistake you give up plays."
The Crimson Tide will be in full pads for the first time when it takes the field at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday. "We have been in shoulder pads and helmets, but we are looking forward to banging around a bit," Gibson added. "There has been a lot of talking going on between the offense and the defense, so we will see how things go tomorrow."
Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama: One of the nation’s premier prospects on the offensive line, Kouandijo (6-7, 325) probably could step in and start at left tackle immediately for the Crimson Tide. After all, Alabama does have to replace James Carpenter along its offensive front. Coach Nick Saban may prefer a different acclimation process, though, and develop Kouandijo at a slower pace.
5. WR Marquis Maze: Alabama (5-10, 182) There’s a place in the NFL for this guy because of his straight-line speed and ability to create after the catch. Adds some punt return ability as well and looks like sub package receiver who can run the deep crossers and create big plays when his number is called.
The Birmingham Barons announce that Minor League Baseball CharitiesTM will be presenting a $20,000 check to The Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, part of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, prior to Tuesday, August 9th’s Barons game at 7:05 p.m. Minor League Baseball President, Pat O’Conner, will be on hand for the check presentation. "We would like to thank the Minor League Baseball Clubs and Minor League Baseball Charities for their support and this incredible donation," said Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson. "Our Community will continue to recover from this past spring’s devastating tornadoes for quite awhile and we are proud to assist in the recovery effort," he added.
The highlight of Sunday's practice was a 50-yard footrace between rookie tailback Mark Ingram and free safety Malcolm Jenkins. Ingram was the winner, having reached the left corner of the end zone on his feet -- though Jenkins insisted that he gained enough ground to make the tackle but didn't want to risk injury. Jenkins took a diving swipe at Ingram's legs but failed to trip him up. "Oh yeah, I made up ground. I just didn't want to dive on his legs," Jenkins said. "Watch the film." It goes down as a touchdown in the unofficial scorebook, though, and it highlighted an impressive practice session for Ingram. The former Heisman trophy winner from Alabama also showed some nifty shiftiness with a cutback move up the middle of the field a few players earlier during team drills.
Top draft pick Marcell Dareus might be one of the widest people ever to put on an NFL uniform. I was amazed to watch him from behind, next to one of my All-Pro defensive tackles from 2010, Kyle Williams. Williams, from the back, looks like 60 percent of Dareus, even though the weight difference is only about 50 pounds.