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Scrimmage Thoughts

Running Backs:  Jimmy Johns being back in practice is the big news, though he wasn't the leading rusher during yesterday's scrimmage.  Johns gained 41 yards and 1 TD on nine carries, while Roy Upchurch led all rushers with 87 yards on 9 carries (though he wasn't mentioned by Coach Saban during the post scrimmage press conference.  Curious).  Terry Grant had 72 yards on 14 carries, and Glen Coffee had only 29 yards on 9 carries after his lead rusher performance last weekend.  Coffee did add an extra 42 yards on two receptions, though, so he does have that going for him.

Whither Glen Coffee?

The Coffee situation interests me, considering the press he and Grant got all last week in Johns's absence.  I guess we'll just have to settle for not knowing who has really seperated themselves from the pack until the start of the season.

Quarterbacks:  It was a sloppy, sloppy day for the offense (did anyone else just shudder with a too familiar dread thinking that?), with JP going 10 of 31 for 147 yards, 1 TD, and 3 picks and McElroy hitting 13 of 24 for 85 yards and 2 picks.  As bad as it sounds, a lot of the issues were brought about by the terrible weather conditions, and Coach Saban is looking at it as a positive learning experience:

"I personally think we should make it our advantage, whatever the circumstances are," Saban said. "If it's raining outside and we're playing on a bad field, that should be to our advantage. That's the mindset. Hopefully we made some progress in that area."

Receivers:  Keith Brown was sidelined again with a bruised leg during the scrimmage, but he was the only receiver with more than one catch on Saturday.  The Tuscaloosa News takes a look at Matt Caddell, who didn't have a catch this weekend but led all receivers with four for 80 yards in the last scrimmage.  

Defense:  Simeon Castille is earning praise once again after returning a turnover (this time a pick) for a TD for the second scrimmage in a row.  Of course, I'm with the Mayor on this one:  The momentary satisfaction of reading about a stellar day for the defense after all the talk of inconsistency and lack of depth was immediately followed by worry over the functionality of an offense we've all been worrying over for the better part of this century.  God, I can't wait 'til September.  There's also a handy article in the Tuscaloosa News about the different experience levels of the members of the Tide defense.