Alabama conducted their first public practice today at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The sun was beating down at the 2pm practice making both spectators and players uncomfortable. I was sitting in the shade and it was still a bit too hot for my tastes. I can't imagine how they felt down on the field.
Let's get the bad news out of the way first. Glenn Coffee injured his right knee and it looks fairly serious. He was on the ground for quite some time and had to be helped off of the field by two trainers. He eventually took his shoulder pads off and watched the remainder of the scrimmage on crutches from the sidelines. He'll have an MRI done tomorrow.
Wallace Gilberry also injured his shoulder and did not participate further in the scrimmage once he came off of the field. Hopefully the injury bug is not going to revisit us like it did in 2004. That year the injury bug was more like a plague of locusts. Jamie Christensen aggravated his hip and came limping off after a kick as well, but no one seems to think it's serious at the moment.
I only watched the first half of the scrimmage but JPW looked pretty good though he threw a few floaters up that were begging to be intercepted. He was 19 of 28 for 238 yards and threw one pick. He led the first team offense on six scoring drives (all TDs.)
The O-Line still looks like it needs some work though they had their moments. The defense came blazing through at times and recorded 10 sacks in the scrimmage (6 by the first team.) Juwan Simpson wasn't even touched on his sack. He was in the backfield in two steps and had they been hitting the QBs it would've been more vicious than DeMeco Ryans' hit on Chris Leak last year.
Terry Grant had TD runs of 50, 46 and 6 yards. The 50 yard run came against the first team D.
Read the full recap of the scrimmage at RollTide.com.
I also wanted to add that the new stadium expansion looks fantastic. I can't imagine how great it will look when it's full!
Here are a few photos I took:
DJ Hall and the rest of the offense stretching
Prothro catches a pass with an aircast on
The final touches are being put on the stadium
The ribbonboard scoreboards are very cool
Some people were worried about the condition of the turf in photos taken earlier in the year. Fret not, for it looks good.