Friday, August 18, 2006

University of Alabama Football Report for 8/18/06

Expect a light day today on the practice field in advance of tomorrow’s scrimmage, at least as light as any day with 100 plus degree heat index can be in full pads. News from fall camp has fallen into one of two camps so far: persistent, if not frightening, injuries and the moveable feast that is Alabama’s first-string offensive line.

Most of the faithful are optimistic regarding this year’s line, some of it due to the arrival of prized recruit and fashion plate Andre Smith but mostly because the line play couldn’t get much worse. Earlybirds report sighting Andre the Giant (or Andre 3000 lbs. – these nicknames await canonization) lining up at left tackle and picking up on movements not dissimilar with zone blocking techniques.

If this is true, Kenneth Darby will have to adjust his running style and learn that not all plays begin by dodging a down lineman who has bulled his way three yards deep into Alabama’s backfield. Hopefully, Darby has studied old game film of Shaun Alexander behind Chris Samuels (Hint: look for the expansive spaces of green playing field).

With the opening game still weeks away, some may wonder if the constant attention and commentary from the laypeople damages the clergy’s effectiveness. One can’t imagine Bryant’s secret installation of the wishbone offense prior to opening the season at USC in today’s wired, weird world. But privacy survives (I hope), and much of the hullabaloo is hyperbole, as long as we know who’s listening.

On the other hand, with cameras everywhere one must remember one’s stage manners and realize that the language one uses at home may not play well on YouTube. Is it crude to ask if Senator Allen kisses his mother with that mouth?

Roll Tide.