Alabama football: Stability reigns in spring practice

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at Alabama’s returning talent and the Tide’s scrimmage on Saturday. 

Two-fifths of the way through spring practice, nearly halfway there, and most of the news, as Michael Casagrande of AL.com has noted, is no news at all.

There’s no quarterback battle, despite the wishes of some who think Jalen Hurts should be benched until the end of time because setting records, being SEC Offensive Player of the Year and taking your team within 90 seconds of an undefeated national championship season as a freshman isn’t good enough. At running back, the issue is more where to deploy Alabama’s trio of returning weapons, plus the new ones to integrate. Calvin Ridley remains the leader of the line at wide receiver. The only major offensive weapon lost, O.J. Howard, will be replaced by a battalion of talent at tight end.

The offense rearranges, the defense reloads and Alabama marches on. The relative lack of turnover is encouraging for the fans and players who feel the team has unfinished business, but formulating expectations from spring practice remains risky business. Alabama entered last season with a host of unknowns. With fewer questions to answer, how good can this team be?

The first inkling of an answer will come Saturday, at the team’s first scrimmage in Bryant-Denny Stadium, where Nick Saban is looking for improvement in the passing game. 

ICYMI

Built by Bama

AJ McCarron wants a starting job, and several teams are interested in possibly giving him one, but the Cincinnati Bengals haven’t yet obliged. With the draft quickly approaching, and news of Tony Romo’s retirement, the time to move McCarron is now. Denver, Houston and Cleveland are all thought to be interested, but the quarterback said he’s focused on his present situation, with the Bengals. 

Reuben Foster to Oakland? But not to the Browns. Unless he is going to the Browns?

JaMychal Green returned from a shoulder injury to play limited minutes on Tuesday night. His trade rumors also returned, particularly one linking him with the Orlando Magic. 

In baseball, Tommy Hunter pitched the ninth inning of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 5-0 loss to the Yankees. He issued one walk but allowed no hits, recording all three outs.

Around the Capstone

Tide baseball dropped a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair at Troy, losing on a walk-off single, 12-11. The Crimson Tide will host Troy on Wednesday at 6 p.m., weather permitting.

The softball team is scrambling to fill the holes left by injury, particularly by second baseman and leadoff batter Demi Turner’s absence, before taking on Lipscomb on Wednesday at 6 p.m., weather permitting.

The men’s track team is up to No. 4 in the country. 

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