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Crimson Tide Wraps Up First Day of Two-a-Days


Sunday, August 15, 2004

DeMeco Ryans

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - One day after the first day of full contact work, the University of Alabama football team ushered in the first day of two-a-day practices and head coach Mike Shula was pleased with both sessions on Sunday.

"We had two pretty good practices today, Shula said after the second session.  "This afternoon, I thought the defense looked better than the offense as far as mechanics were concerned in the move the ball drills, two-minute offense and other situations.  I think the linebackers are the key to our defense this season.  DeMeco Ryans (Jr., 6-2, 232, Bessemer), Juwan Garth (So., 6-2, 220, Decatur) and Cornelius Wortham (Sr., 6-2, 233, Calhoun City, Miss.) have all had a good week of practice this week and continue to do a nice job."

The Crimson Tide worked for two hours and thirty minutes in full gear in the morning session.  The afternoon session was a ninety minute practice in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.

As for the offense, Shula continues to praise junior quarterback Brodie Croyle (6-3, 205, Rainbow City) for his work this week.

"Brodie had another solid day," Shula added.  "As for the receivers, we have added a lot of new stuff and thrown in some wrinkles, so the young guys are swimming around a little bit.  Tyrone Prothro (So., 5-8, 176) and Matt Caddell (Fr., 6-0, 181, McCalla) have looked good."

Shula also noted that freshman center Antoine Caldwell (6-3, 281, Montgomery) suffered a broken foot in Sunday's morning practice and will likely be out of action four to six weeks.  The news was not all bad as three players returned to work after battling some injuries, including junior middle linebacker Freddie Roach (6-2, 239, Killen), freshman flanker Keith Brown (6-3, 185, Ft. Walton Beach) and junior defensive end Chris Turner (6-3, 288, Jacksonville, Fla.).  All three practiced on Sunday, but in a limited role.

Alabama will hold its first preseason scrimmage on Monday at Bryant-Denny Stadium at 2:30 p.m.  The scrimmage is open to the public.

Shula said the coaching staff will use Monday's scrimmage as an evaluation process in terms of the depth chart.

"I am not sure how many plays we will run, but we will start making some evaluations to see who gets more reps," he added.  "We won't to look at certain players in certain packages."