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Alabama Football Spring Practice #2: Offense

For most of the Crimson Tide, the bumps and bruises have healed and it's time to gear up for a new year. Many familiar faces have moved on and have been replaced by new faces. Position openings on the offensive line, tight end, and H-back should prove for an interesting spring.

Bama QB AJ McCarron is back for a shot at another ring.
Bama QB AJ McCarron is back for a shot at another ring.
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Practice #2 was held in the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility on Monday. It is too soon to really assess any position battles as the players have yet to scrimmage. They have mainly been working position drills and been receiving some teaching with a few offense vs. defense drills (WR vs. DB).

C.J. Mosley, Jalston Fowler, Dee Hart, and DeAndrew White all remained in non-contact black jerseys but participated with their teammates in drills. Hart continued practicing with the defensive backs. Though he is sporting a noticeably large brace on his right knee, he still looked fluid in his cuts. Fowler also wore a brace on his left knee but one not quite as imposing. It was encouraging to see him go through running and cutting drills with no problems. His cuts were sharp and the speed was there.

Wide receiver Kevin Norwood and cornerback John Fulton will not be practicing due to toe injuries but still got their work in with strength coach Scott Cochran on Monday.

With three starters gone on the offensive line, we are in for intriguing battles at right tackle and one guard spot. The center job seems to be Ryan Kelly's to lose. He proved quite capable filling in for injured Barrett Jones during pre-bowl practices last December. Cyrus Kouandjio returns at left tackle and it appears that Anthony Steen may flip to the left side at guard. Junior Austin Shepherd is the early favorite at right tackle but don’t forget about juco transfer Leon Brown. That man is a MONSTER. He is listed at 6-6/310 but looks even bigger. Though it would be fun to see the Kouandjio brothers side-by-side, Arie looks to be battling for the right guard spot with Chad Lindsay. Brandon Hill, who is big as a hill (6-6.5/390), should be in the mix at tackle as well.

I was watching video of the O-Line. They were doing these drills with 4 guys blocking 4 others. It probably means absolutely nothing but here were the line-ups:

  1. Anthony Steen, Ryan Kelly, Kellen Williams, Cyrus Kouandjio
  2. Austin Shepherd, Chad Lindsay, Arie Kouandjio, Brandon Greene
  3. Leon Brown (#72), Isaac Luata, Alphonse Taylor, Brandon Hill (#73)
  4. Caleb Gulledge, walk-on #69?, walk-on #60?, walk-on #59?

One position that has little doubt as to who the starter will be is quarterback. Senior AJ McCarron is back for another run. Behind him is serious competition for back-up and the future of the program. Thus, here is my Seat-of-My-Pants Pure Speculation QB Depth Chart:

  1. AJ McCarron, SR
  2. Alec Morris, RS freshman (his style of play is more conducive to this offense)
  3. Blake Sims, JR (passing game is lacking)
  4. Phillip Ely, sophomore (has slipped)
  5. Cooper Bateman, FR (unless there is a disaster, he will most likely redshirt)
  6. Parker McLeod, FR (will redshirt)
  7. Luke Del Rio, walk-on FR (will redshirt)
  8. Edward Aldag, walk-on

Practice #3 is Wednesday, March 20.