September 7, 2006

Tide cools off before SEC opener

The Tide's Thursday practice was cooled down by some light rain near the end of practice as the Tide continued to prepare for Vanderbilt by running through game situations without pads.

"I thought practice went pretty good," head coach Mike Shula said. "Guys were moving around pretty well. We know we're going to have to play our best ball game to beat these guys because they are going to be mentally prepared, they're coming off a loss and this is the SEC."

Shula said today's practice mostly involved game situation work in order to make sure players could move at the speed of the officials.

"It was more down and distance stuff. Substitutions, game situations. We also worked more on special teams stuff. We can't cover everything but we tried to get through as much as we can.""

Shula also named the team captains for Saturday's game. Safety Jeffrey Dukes was named the defensive captain, fullback Tim Castille was named captain of the offense and linebacker Terrence Jones was named the special teams captain.

The Tide will hold a walk-through practice tomorrow afternoon that will be closed to the media.

Injury Report

Several Tide players who were held out of last week's game due to injuries are expected to be back in action against Vanderbilt on Saturday. Placekicker Jamie Christensen kicked Thursday without any problems, according to Shula, and could reclaim his spot this weekend.

"Jamie is doing better," Shula said. "We'll see, we won't know for sure until Saturday. He kicked a little yesterday and wasn't too sore today so that will be a game time decision."

Also returning to action will be DJ Hall who has recovered from an ankle injury and safety Justin Woodall whom Shula thought highly of throughout fall camp until an ankle injury sidelined him.

"He's practiced all week," Shula said. "He's gotten more and more reps and we could see him on special teams this weekend."

Shula also said that Kenneth Darby appears to be over his hip pointer that was bothering him last week and says he has seen Darby's play improve throughout the week.

"Darby has gotten better each day. Is he 100 percent? I don't know if he even knows that but he's had a pretty good week."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!