Aug. 6, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama football team opened its 2009 fall training camp with a split practice session at the Drew-Thomas Practice Facility on Thursday.
The veterans got things started Thursday morning with a two-hour workout in shorts and helmets. The rest of the team will close the opening day with a two-hour practice, which is slated to start at 7:30 p.m.
"I was excited about it," Alabama cornerback Javier Arenas said about his first practice. "My whole mindset was to go out there, work hard and get better. I wanted to affect the people around me and help them get better."
Let by Arenas, the Crimson Tide returns eight starters on defense, including three of four in the secondary. The Tide ranked third nationally in total defense a year ago and 14th in pass efficiency defense.
The offensive unit must break in a new quarterback for the first time in three seasons. Junior Greg McElroy is working to take over for the departed John Parker Wilson, who had started the last 40 games at quarterback for the Crimson Tide.
"It's the first day and we had some pep in our step," McElroy said. "As one of the leaders of the offense, I want to be the first one in line. I want to be the first one to do everything. It might sound cliché and it might sound like something that might not be important to most, but it's important to me to lead the guys. If that's being the first in a drill, situation, or area on the field, I want to be that guy."
Alabama will hold its first combined practice of the season on Friday with the veterans and newcomers all slated for a 2:30 p.m. workout at the Drew-Thomas Practice Facility.
The Crimson Tide will hold their annual Fan Day on Sunday, August 9, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Fan Day will begin with an open practice from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Following the conclusion of practice, players and coaches will be available for autographs on the field. Fans may enter the stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m. through the northeast gates (37-38).