Thursday, August 25, 2005
The University of Alabama football team practiced for two hours in full pads on Thursday afternoon as preparations continue for the 2005 season opener with Middle Tennessee next Saturday, Sept. 3 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game is sold out and is available on the pay-per-view basis.
"I thought we had a better practice today," Alabama head coach Mike Shula said. "We are a little bit slow on offense on some of the drills, but overall we were pretty good. We got some good work in against ourselves."
Shula said on Thursday that senior punter Jeremy Schatz (Homewood) was out indefinitely after having a series of tests run for some heart complications.
"Jeremy Scahtz has a heart arrythmia," Shula said. "He is undergoing tests on that right now it is not life threatening. He will be held out until the results of the test are back and he has not been ruled out for the first game yet. On top of the that, he had a sore leg, so we've held him out of practice. Hopefully things will be O.K. and we will find out more about him later."
Schatz is the Tide's lone experienced punter on the squad. He punter three times for a 31.7 yard average as a junior in 2004. He had a 40-yarder in the win over Southern Miss in his Crimson Tide debut.
Shula said that junior Jeffrey Aul (Daleville) and true freshman P.J. Fitzgerald (Coral Springs, Fla.) would get more reps in Schatz absence.
Senior free safety Roman Harper (Prattville) was back a practice on Thursday. Junior cornerback Ramzee Robinson (Huntsville) did not practice, but Shula hopes he will be back on the field by Sunday.
Alabama will hold a mock game Friday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The mock game will go over numerous game situations to prepare the team for the season opener next week. It is closed to the media and public.
"We go from what we do in the locker room pregame, to how we take the field and pregame stretch," Shula added. "It will be real light tempo and a lot of scripted situations. It is a full page worth of scripts. It's a mock game. We put
scores up there and inform the players ahead of time just to listen to what the situation is because as we know in game there are a lot of situations that come up unexpectedly."
After the mock game on Friday, Alabama will enjoy its first off day of the preseason camp on Saturday. The team will return to the field on Sunday at 4 p.m. as preparations continue for Middle Tennessee.