September 21, 2006
Practice Report: Tide gets physical
The Tide held its final practice session before traveling to Arkansas and the team continued to impress head coach Mike Shula Thursday with its physical play.
"We summed up the physical part of practice today," said Shula. "We still have some things to go over. I think all of us as coaches are firm believers that you need to keep going over stuff and keep covering things. The more you keep talking about it right until you get ready to kickoff is going to be important. The little things are always important especially on the road. Our kids are excited, knowing they are going to be playing against a very good football team in a great atmosphere."
The Tide also named its team captains for the Arkansas game at Thursday's practice. Defensive end Wallace Gilberry will captain the defense while fullback Le'Ron McClain will lead the offense and Rashad Johnson will head up the special teams unit.
Two Tide players underwent surgery Thursday including freshman running back Terry Grant, who had surgery to repair some instability in his right shoulder, and safety Cory Reamer who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
"We're still waiting to hear on Terry Grant. Corey's surgery went fine," Shula said.
Senior linebacker Terrence Jones did not practice Thursday due to what Shula called a minor injury to his right shoulder. Jones worked with the strength and conditioning coaches without a sling or cast on his shoulder and Shula said it is not yet determined whether or not Jones will play Saturday.
"It will be a game-time decision but we'll give him every chance to play," Shula said. "If he can't we're confident those other guys can step up."
Running back Glen Coffee also worked with the strength and conditioning coaches Thursday and showed signs of his imminent recovery, though Shula said there is still some time needed before Coffee works his way back into regular practice.
"Glen is still probably a couple of weeks away from playing and still another week from practicing in pads. He's moving around pretty well now."
Jamie Christensen kicked some more in practice on Thursday and although Shula said Christensen will be the starting kickoff man Saturday, it will be a game-time decision as to whether Christensen or freshman Leigh Tiffin will handle field goal and extra point duties.
The team is scheduled to leave the Tuscaloosa Airport at 1:05 p.m. on Friday and arrive at Reynolds Razorback Stadium for a quick walk-through at approximately 3:45 p.m.
"We're going to go over there tomorrow and sort of break a sweat out in the stadium and see what the locker room is like," Shula said.
The team will then travel to its hotel in Springdale where it will arrive at 5:30 p.m.
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