Countdown to Kickoff
Bama Football Completes First Day of Two-A-Day Practices


Sunday, August 10, 2003

Chris James
Chris James
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For the first time since opening camp last Tuesday, the University of Alabama went through its first day of two-a-days on Sunday. 

The Crimson Tide worked for 2 1/2 hours in full gear Sunday morning and then held a 1 1/2 hour practice in helmets, shorts and shoulder pads in the afternoon.

Alabama will hold two-a-day sessions on Aug. 12, 14, 16, and 18 while one-a-day practices will be conducted on Aug. 11,13, 15, 17 and 19 before classes begin on Aug. 20.

"There were some good things in both practices," Alabama head coach Mike Shula said.  "We had a long, hot practice and then our afternoon practice was not quite as long.  We mixed in some two-minute offense for the first time today, and the defense won as you might imagine.  We need to get some mechanics down and we worked on that some today, too.

"We toned down some this afternoon.  We did not have as many compete drills.  There was more group work and less individual work.  We worked on moving the ball, two-minute drill and plus territory."

The Crimson Tide will practice only once on Monday, but will hold it first of three scrimmages tomorrow at the practice facility. 

Alabama will begin the 2003 season on Aug. 30 against South Florida at Birmingham's Legion Field.  The game will be televised nationally by ESPN, with kickoff scheduled at 2 p.m. (CDT).


Former Miami Dolphins head coach and NFL Hall of Famer Don Shula attended both practices on Sunday.  Shula is in Tuscaloosa to participate in an Alabama fund-raising event to benefit the Crimson Tradition Fund.  Shula also had a chance to see his son at work on the Alabama practice field for the first time since being named UA's 26th head football coach in May.

"He has not been to Tuscaloosa very many times," Alabama coach Mike Shula said of his father's visit.  I hope to get him in here a lot more.  He is very supportive and obviously, he is very knowledgeable, too.  I would not be very smart if I didn't gather as much information as I could from all of the available sources I have been around."


NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath headlined a group of Crimson Tide legends that addressed the team following Sunday's afternoon practice session.

Namath was joined by College Football Hall of Famers Lee Roy Jordan and Billy Neighbors, former Alabama head coach Gene Stallings and Lemanski Hall, a starter on the 1992 national championship team.

"What a special group," Shula said following Sunday's practice.  "It was neat for our kids, and me too, to see and meet these guys.  I am biased, but that is what makes this place so special."