August 31, 2006

Practice Report: Preseason is over

The hard work is over for the Tide as they left the practice field Thursday following their final full preseason practice session. The Tide worked in shorts and shoulder pads led by the three team captains for this week, Ramzee Robinson, Le'Ron McClain and Ken Darby.

"We have pretty much finished up our physical preparation," head coach Mike Shula said. "Tomorrow we will have a couple of walk-throughs. We have had good work and now its time for these guys to apply what they have been taught on the field and not lose the discipline that we teach every day from start to finish."

The walk-throughs will be less physical reviews of things the Tide has already covered in practice.

"We'll be reviewing anything that we may have made a mental mistake on during practice," Shula said. "We'll also cover some things that we haven't gone over since last week."

After months of preparation, the Tide is ready to finally take the field and get the 2006 season underway.

"Everyone is excited that we're finally here," Shula said. "After spring practice, summer workouts and fall camp we're ready to find out what we're about and knock heads with somebody other than our own teammates."

Bryant-Denny unveiled

As the Tide were finishing up preseason practice, another important event was taking place across town as the statues of the Tide's four national championship coaches were finally unveiled in Bryant-Denny Plaza.

Family members representing all four coaches, Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Paul "Bear" Bryant and Gene Stallings, were in attendance. Stallings himself attended the event and spoke prior to the unveiling of the statues.

"I always thought you were supposed to be dead before you get a monument," Stallings cracked. "Maybe I am dead."

Shula said the team is looking forward to the newly expanded stadium and the potential it brings for a more electric atmosphere during home games.

"Our kids are excited to get into the stadium," Shula said. "They realize it's got the potential to be louder than ever if we play well."

"There are so many things when I go to work in the morning that make me want to stay here a while. There are a lot of things that motivate people and for me it's being able to work in a place like this."

Notes

* Hawaii will practice inside Bryant-Denny Stadium tomorrow afternoon. Practice will be closed to the media and the public.

* Only two players practiced in orange injury jerseys: running back Glen Coffee and safety Justin Woodall.

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