The Crimson Tide took to the practice field in full pads on a hot and muggy afternoon on Wednesday. The biggest news was the revelation that Trey DePriest has a stress fracture in his foot and is now sporting a hard cast. He is will be sitting out the rest of the spring to allow that to heal up. His absence, though may be to the benefit of two players, Dillon Lee and Ryan Anderson (who were previously mentioned together under less positive circumstances). Anderson was filling in for DePriest in the base set, while Lee has been taking over his duties in the nickle package.
Kevin Steele was on hand observing the inside linebackers as they went through drills. I have expressed a bit of concern about these so called "off the field" coaches in the past and reports like these do little to ease my mind. Again, I'm not sure where that bright yellow line of distinction lies (or if the distinction is even that... distinct), but I would just as soon have the Director of Player Personnel (or anyone else with such a made up title) just stay away from the practice field and do all of their supporting from the film rooms.
It sounds like the experiment of having Dee Hart on defense has reached a conclusion. It sounds like he could perform adequately at the star position if he was needed in an emergency situation, but realistically, if we're ever down to the point that he is playing defense, we will all have long since shot our televisions. Alternatively, it sounds like Cyrus Jones has taken to playing defensive back well, and he may well get on the field in that capacity this fall.
The reports coming out of spring drills seem to indicate that Xzavier Dickson will likely stop bouncing back and forth between outside linebacker and defensive end and will likely end up with the linebackers. I think some of this is probably attributable to the ascendance of Dalvin Tomlinson, who is making great strides at defensive end after putting on twenty pounds since arriving last fall. Saban has praised Tomlinson and even went so far as to say that he had the chance of being on the same level as Pagan as a rotating starter when the season begins.
The Tide will practice again this Friday, in preparation of the scrimmage Saturday.
Some footage from Wednesday's practice is below: