Some coaches are able to ease into the season slowly, with their players not really being tested…
Photo report: Fall camp ends
(Above left) Brodie Croyle and Mike Machen warm up at the beginning of practice. Coach Shula has consistently praised Croyle for his ability to pick up the offense quickly, an assessment that will be tested next Saturday. True freshman linebacker Earnest Nance fights his way through a practice-ending wind sprint. Position Coach Joe Kines has been impressed with Nance's aggressiveness. He could end up at either strongside or middle linebacker, but a redshirt is likely this season. Seniors Charles Jones (#20) and Shaud Williams (#21) talk things over with sophomore Roman Harper (#41). Jones and Williams have established themselves as leaders on defense and offense. Like most teams, the 2003 Crimson Tide will go as far as the seniors can take it. Defensive end Mark Anderson (#47) waits his turn while watching special teams practice. A converted linebacker, Anderson's play this season will be key to the Tide's success. Donald Clarke, Clint Johnston and David Cavan watch the action on the field. Alabama's three principal tight ends have all had a good fall camps, providing Head Coach Mike Shula with welcome options on offense. Antwan Odom (#98) and Anthony Bryant (#97) scatter the blocking dummies like so many bowling pins. The two fourth-year players are probably Bama's most gifted defensive linemen physically. Both finish fall camp in good shape health-wise, anxious to start the season. Brandon Avalos sets to pass. He's worked some on special teams, but quarterback is Avalos' stock in trade. With the recent injury to Spencer Pennington, Avalos has gotten significantly more reps in practice, preparing him for possible action versus South Florida. Shown lifting weights earlier in the summer, Le'Ron McClain could be a key component of Bama's success this season. Due to qualifying delays, he got a late start on practice. But McClain has excellent potential at fullback, a position where Bama badly needs help.
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