Thoughts and notes from Alabama's Monday practice
by Marq Burnett
Aug 05, 2013 | 2832 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama athletics director Bill Battle watches the Tide practice. (Photo by Marq Burnett/The Anniston Star)
Alabama athletics director Bill Battle watches the Tide practice. (Photo by Marq Burnett/The Anniston Star)
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama athletics director Bill Battle watched from the balcony outside his office as the Crimson Tide hit the practice field in Monday’s nearly 90 degree weather.

Battle yelled down to reporters saying players surely are “bigger, faster and stronger,” than when he played in the early 1960s.

Tide coach Nick Saban did not address reporters today as the team continues preparation for the start of the 2013 season.

I spent the media viewing periods watching the offensive and defensive linemen run drills.

Here are some takeaways:

--Cyrus and Arie Kouandjio, Anthony Steen, Ryan Kelly and Leon Brown worked as the first-team offensive line today.

--At left tackle and right guard, respectively, Cyrus and Steen and are virtual locks to start, with Kelly holding firm as the No. 1 center. But left guard and right tackle still appear to be up in the air.

--Junior Jeoffrey Pagan is emerging as the vocal leader for the defensive lineman. He ran through drills first and coached up the younger guys.

--The freshmen defensive went through drills four times before rotating while the veterans went once before rotating.

--The defensive line continued to work on hitting the sled and working on strike speed and power. They also worked on hip movement and hand placement.

--Freshmen Jonathan Allen looked confused while changing positions between drills and had to do 10 pushups while he thought about the correct way to do things.

--Another freshman defensive lineman was told he was “moving slow as syrup” during a drill.

Up next: Alabama will practice Tuesday before Saban and a few players speak with reporters.

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