TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama held its final practice of the week on Friday as the Crimson Tide worked outside on a beautiful day in Tuscaloosa. From a scheduling standpoint, this is the only weekend of spring that Alabama won’t have a Saturday scrimmage. Tide coach Nick Saban gives the players the weekend off so they can go home for Easter if they’d like to.
Here are some takeaways:
- While senior defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is limited physically because of a shoulder injury, that hasn’t stopped him from showing leadership. Allen was seen coaching up younger teammates, pulling them aside and offering advice if they missed up during a drill. Allen, who finished second in the SEC with 12 sacks last season, is going to be a big part of Alabama’s defense year.
- New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has brought a lot of energy to Alabama’s practices. He’s not as loud and active as outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi, who routinely puts his hand in the dirt and goes through drills with players. But Pruitt is very hands on. After a young player didn’t complete a drill properly, Pruitt got into a defensive stance and showed the group how it was supposed to be done. Pruitt even took on a little contact. He’s working with the inside linebackers. Watch the video below to see Pruitt at work.
- Speaking of new coaches, defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley also showed a lot of fire out there today. Ansley got onto players, and made them repeat drills if they slacked off. It’s got to be tough coaching the defensive backs with Nick Saban always watching, but Ansley is certainly up to the task.
- Ross Pierschbacher continued to work at center today. This is one of those experiments that could be permanent. We’ll definitely keep an eye on this one.
- Rashaan Evans and Joshua McMillon worked at inside linebacker. Both look like naturals at the position.
- In the secondary, Tony Brown was with the cornerbacks while Maurice Smith went through individual drills with the safeties.
- Former Alabama and current New Orleans Saints safety Vinnie Sunseri and his father Sal Sunseri — who used to coach at Alabama — were in attendance.
- Former Alabama stars Jarran Reed, D.J. Pettway and Alex Watkins were all in attendance for today’s practice. There have been a lot of former players hanging out around the team as a lot of them train here during the offseason.
- There was no sign of Alabama safety Eddie Jackson during the media’s brief viewing window. Jackson (leg) has been riding a stationary bike all spring.
WATCH: Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt leads drills
WATCH: Alabama defensive back drills.
Up next: Alabama is off this weekend for Easter. The Crimson Tide returns to the field on Monday. Tide coach Nick Saban is scheduled to speak to reporters.