Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Final Countdown: Thursday Practice Report

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 06:  A cheerleader of the Alabama Crimson Tide cheers against the Florida Gators during the SEC Championship on December 6, 2008 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The wait is almost over…and so is fall camp. Next Monday the Alabama Crimson Tide football team will begin routine “game week” preparation for the Sept. 4 contest against San Jose State.

However, before the Tide can hit the field, Nick Saban needs to know who will take the field.

Thursday afternoon, D.J. Fluker returned to his familiar right tackle position and Barrett Jones returned to his spot at right guard.

During the Tuesday/Wednesday session Fluker didn’t practice with the first group and Jones was moved from right guard to right tackle.

In the secondary, Tide cornerback DeMarcus Milliner appears to be ready to roll after returning from an ankle injury which sidelined him for a week. Milliner appeared unimpeded during the Thursday practice session.

Crimson Tide linebacker Jerrell Harris once again saw time at the inside linebacker position on Thursday. Harris has spent the majority of fall camp working with the outside backers but has been active with the inside grouping this week.

In news which will make every Alabama fan happy…safety Kendall Kelly has been medically cleared to practice. Kelly has been absent since the initial practice of the preseason due to heat related issues which caused dizziness.

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 12:  A cheerleader for the Alabama Crimson Tide cheers during the game against  the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 12, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Without question, it will take Kelly a few weeks to return to “football shape” but nevertheless Kendall Kelly is back, which is great news for all parties involved.

In respect to who will "start" for the Tide, Alabama still has questions concerning the secondary, special teams and offensive line.

Practice groupings certainly mean something over a long period of time, but it would not be out of the question for selected starting positions to be a game-time decision.

Simply going by conjecture, the early portion of next week should provide answers to many pivotal questions concerning key positions.


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