Tough to glean much from the first fall practice in shorts and helmets, but we've got you covered nonetheless. Saban did provide some injury updates before going off on a tirade about the unauthorized biography that was recently written about him. Here's what we've got:
There appeared to be no changes with the first-team offensive line from spring. Cam Robinson (LT), Ross Pieschbacher (LG), Ryan Kelly (C), Bradley Bozeman (RG) and Dominick Jackson (RT) were the first group. Korren Kirven was the second-team left tackle.
Looks like the coaching staff was at least somewhat pleased with this unit in the spring, though no one would suggest that it's set in stone. As far as QBs go, apparently Cornwell and Coker were effectively working as co-starters in the nation's most discussed position battle. Unsurprisingly, Damien Harris is already working as the #3 RB behind Henry and Drake.
Senior cornerback Cyrus Jones and senior outside linebacker Denzel Devall were full participants in practice after sitting out spring practice while rehabbing from offseason surgeries. Both were medically cleared following spring practice. Jones and sophomore Tony Brown were the first-team cornerbacks in drills during the portion of practice open to the media.
We expected to get these guys back, but it's always nice to hear that they actually made it onto the field. Couple of interesting notes here: Dillon Lee, and not Reuben Foster or Shaun Dion Hamilton, was starting at Will next to Ragland. Senior Darren Lake was starting at nose flanked by A'shawn and Jarran Reed, with Jonathan Allen running second team. As we get into the season, however, look for Robinson to move inside most of the time - particularly against spread teams.
"Right now, he's great," his mother said. "Physically, he's getting a lot better. When it first happened, I think he was trying to put on a brave face. This was his first-ever major injury from the time he's been playing sports, 6 or 7 years old up until now. This was his first major injury, first-ever surgery.
Have to feel awful for what is by all accounts a fine young man who worked hard to get himself on the field last season before suffering a devastating knee injury in the spring. We will keep you updated as any new information comes in about his rehab, but probably won't get to see Sims on the field before 2016.
"Our target for him is to allow him to practice, increase his workload over what amounts to two months," Saban said, "and hopefully by the end of September he'll be able to start making a contribution." When asked about what led to the suspension, Saban mentioned having to "respect what they say about amateurism," but declined to elaborate.
No idea what Scarbrough did to get suspended, but it's encouraging that he has been cleared for limited practice. Hopefully he'll be ready to make some contribution by the time we hit the meat of the SEC schedule. The talent is certainly there.
Saban said they changed the practice schedule from having 2 on the first day, one for vets and others for newcomers. He said there weren't enough players for PM practice for newcomers without overusing them. The summer progress was good enough that he felt comfortable with doing the whole team together.
Some of this is redundant, but the link has full video to the press conference and beat writer Michael Casagrande does a nice job summarizing the high points for you. The gist: Saban was happy with the summer workouts and pleased with Thursday's effort and energy, Raheem Falkins and Josh Casher are out with injuries along with Sims, KENYAN DRAKE IS HEALTHY DAMMIT SO QUIT ASKING, and he doesn't think people should write biographies about others without their consent.
Yes, Robinson is a left tackle, and no, there’s nothing particularly unique about that. But in a broader sense, Robinson is the left tackle: A 6-foot-6, 323-pound behemoth who might as well have been specifically engineered in a laboratory to play the position in 2015, and who found himself entrenched as the Crimson Tide’s starter on the blind side from the moment he set foot on campus. Robinson started every game last year as a true freshman, looked the part of the next great Bama lineman, and could be making millions right now if the rules allowed.
OK, so this one isn't practice related, but it is a great read. As we said about Amari, let's enjoy watching a future All-Pro while we can. Robinson is special.
And, one final recap. Mostly included this link for the photo. I'm not sure what Ronnie Harrison is being, uh, counseled on by Coach Tucker there, but I'm fairly sure he will remember it.
It's almost here, folks. Roll Tide.