5 Lessons Learned on Bama Spring Football

5 Lessons Learned on Bama Spring Football

The week in Alabama spring football has brought us some new realizations.

1. Glen Coffee looks great, at least standing still. In the past, the oft-injured sophomore has looked as slender as a receiver, and the most memorable play of his career came as one when he scampered 40 yards but came up short on a last ditch attempt reception against LSU. Now, Coffee is sporting some guns for biceps, and he says he's in good health after suffering (in order) an ankle injury, sports hernia injury and a torn knee ligament, all of which required surgery.

"I'm just glad to be healthy," Coffee said. "We're all fighting for the number one spot right now. There's no number one. We're all still trying to learn the offense."

And another good thing about Coffee, at least according to his account he's held onto the ball well and picked up blocks at least okay – things that don't show up on a scrimmage stat sheet.

"I think I'm coming along good," he said. "I don't make too many mistakes out there. Coach Burns is a good coach. I try to be as dependable as possible."

2. Being in Saban's doghouse, especially at running back where talent is stacked deep from Coffee to freshman Jamar Taylor to freshman Terry Grant to sophomore Roy Upchurch, is not the place to be. Maybe if you're Andre Smith (who we've never known to get into any trouble) and you're the only proven player on the team at your position, maybe you might think of trying to see if you can push the coach's limits a little bit. But in Johns' case, he came back from a two-practice absence at the end of a long line of running backs in going through drills, and he's still got some things to demonstrate to the head coach before moving back up. If he doesn't -- well, I wouldn't want to test the head coach's patience.

3. There's a reason to be encouraged about the defensive line. 280-pound redshirt freshman Bryan Motley had 11 tackles, including three tackles for loss, in last Friday's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Since moving over from offensive line the day before spring drills began, Motley has taken to his high school position well.

"I don't really remember how many tackles I had," he said. "I'm a team player. I probably helped some people on some. The coaches told me I did a great job."

4. There's also a reason to be discouraged about the defensive line. Redshirt freshman Bryan Motley had 11 tackles, including three tackles for loss, in last Friday's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Bama's best nose tackle is a guy who was on offense until the day before spring started. He was moved, as Nick Saban said, to get enough bodies there to get through spring. Byron Walton (wrist) and Lorenzo Washington (pectoral) have been limited to differing degrees, and the others working at Motley's position are walk-ons Lane Rinks and Joshua Curry. There will be freshman coming in the fall, but the depletion of the position is a primary failure in recruiting in recent years.

5. Never has a storyline gotten overplayed more quickly than Nick Saban's tiffs with some of the media, and largely thanks to a guy at the Montgomery Advertiser who (to my knowledge) has nothing to do with covering Alabama football. If there were any legit points to be made contrary to Saban's hardline way of doing things, they've been topped by a heaping pile of BS that somehow landed into newsprint. Thanks Josh!

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