The Crimson Tide took the field for its second practice of the early-season bye week on an incredibly hot and humid day in Tuscaloosa. Here are a few notes from the five-minute practice viewing period (very short compared to preseason and Virginia Tech week), with a little bit of video at the bottom.
– Of course, the story in Tuscaloosa has been the departure of wide receiver Kenny Bell, which he announced via his Twitter account was to focus on his children.
..time too focus on my responsibilities MY kiDS
— Kenny Bell (@TheKennyBell7) September 3, 2013
His departure was confirmed by his absence at practice today, but the reasoning behind it was not. Jeremy Fowler of CBS is reporting, also through his Twitter account, that Bell is leaving the team due to a lack of playing time and has not ruled out a possible return.
– As for the on-the-field stuff, Alabama was not being shy about contact, practicing in full pads and hitting as if it were a game week.
– Finally, I noticed defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Kirby Smart leading his group through some drills on defending option runs in a double-back shotgun set. The easy assumption would be to assume this is preparation for Texas A&M, but that scheme is a common staple in many no-huddle spread offenses: Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Auburn, to name a few.
Now, of the above three, the Aggies use that concept the most. So it cannot be ruled out as a measure for the Texas A&M game, but head coach Nick Saban preaches using the bye week to largely refine fundamentals and improve the football team from the bottom up. Tune in through the rest of the week to see if this trend continues.