Back To Work: Alabama Spring Practices #5 & #6

AJ McCarron. Nuff said. - Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Six practices down. Nine to go. First scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday.

The old adage goes "No News is Good News." That certainly holds true for college football players returning from Spring Break. For those who doubt The Process©, many of the the Crimson Tide team stayed in Tuscaloosa or close by and continued to workout on their own.

The team enjoyed Practice #5 on Monday with some perfect weather, sunny in the 70s. The team was back in full pads working with their position coaches. Wednesday proved a little cooler and wetter chasing the team indoors.

There was nothing too exciting to report on the field on Monday. After so many days off, the team had a little bit of rust which did not make Coach Saban too pleased.

The big news Monday was about the visitors to practice: former Alabama running back Mark Ingram who will be changing to his familiar #22 with the Saints this coming year, former Alabama All-American running back Bobby Humphrey, and Bobby's son Marlon. If you haven't already heard, the younger Humphrey is 2014 Top 10 athlete from Hoover. The 5-star cornerback is 6-0, 175 and can flat out fly. He's been clocked at 4.45 in the forty and has many state titles and state records as member of the Hoover track team. Here is some video of him on the gridiron. He is #26 (like his daddy) in orange & black.

In his Monday news conference, Saban mentioned Arie Kouandjio's progress at left guard and Kellen Williams at left tackle, left guard, and center. There are 3 openings on the O-Line though Ryan Kelly looks to be the clear favorite at center. The offensive line may not be as good as the 2012 version but it is one of the deepest Alabama has had in years.

Wednesday's practice involved more drills from inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. DeAndrew White (recovering ACL) is still in a black jersey but looked good in his routes and cuts. Chris Black (shoulder) and Kenny Bell (broken leg) were in full-contact white jerseys.

NEWBIES: O.J. Howard has been turning some head and looks to be as good as advertised. He is what is meant when people talk about "soft hands." He is going to give opposing defensive backfields nightmares. Derrick Henry already looks like a seasoned veteran.

LEADERS EMERGE: A big part of great champion teams is leadership. With college teams, not only do you lose talent every year but you lose the leaders too. For 2013 to be a successful campaign, the Tide will have to replace those unique skills in guys like Barrett Jones and Damion Square. Obviously, the team can rely on seniors AJ McCarron and CJ Mosley. As the most senior member of the OL, Anthony Steen has taken up the role of spokeman though the team would like junior LT Cyrus Kouandjio to be more vocal as well. Others who seem to be stepping up include tight end Brian Vogler, CB Deion Belue and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

BACK FOR MORE: Everyone's favorite underdog running back Ben Howell is back for one more season. Though listed as a senior last year, he surely has a fifth year in him. With Bama's ridiculous depth at RB, don't expect him to carry the ball too much in 2013. However, don't be surprised to see him on special teams. I wanna see sales of Alabama #34 jerseys to go through the roof, now! Step up and support the Gordo Express!

* First scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday. We will have a full rundown on Monday, April 8.

Saturday, March 16 - One in the books and the big news is Cyrus Jones, Christion Jones, & Dee Hart working out with the defensive backs.
Monday, March 18 - Indoor practice of drills & teaching.
Wednesday, March 20 - first day in pads! CJ Mosley still in black jersey but practicing with team.
Friday, March 22 - another indoor practice, full pads. No new position changes or progress on black jerseys.

~ Spring Break ~

Monday, April 1 - Mark Ingram, Bobby Humphrey, & son Marlon Humphrey in the house.
Wednesday, April 3 - back indoors with a healthy receiving corps.
Friday, April 5
Saturday, April 6 - First scrimmage!
Monday, April 8
Wednesday, April 10
Friday, April 12
Saturday, April 13
Tuesday, April 16
Thursday, April 18

Saturday, April 20 (A-Day Game / ESPN2)

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