TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The first of two preseason scrimmages comes this afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The 3:30 p.m. EDT walk-through is closed to the public, but the optimal proving ground for a team one week into the August routine, coach Nick Saban said.
“Who can go out there and play with the kind of consistency and play winning football at their position?” Saban said. “Who can persevere and have the mental toughness and discipline to do their job? I think we need to find that out about a lot of our players. Some players around here have done that in the past. It might not be as critical for them as it is for the younger guys who have a chance to contribute to the team.”
Linebacker Nico Johnson said the scrimmages can actually be a breath of fresh air through the grind of daily practices.
“Practice is so high tempo and intense and up tight, that time in the stadium is just a time to relax and fly around,” Johnson said. “That’s just what we’re going to do have fun.”
Fellow linebacker C.J. Mosley said the defense has something to prove after last season’s August scrimmages.
“The defense has always been pretty bad at the scrimmages as far as tackling,” the sophomore said. “So coming into this camp, we’ve been telling the offense we’re coming with it in the scrimmage.”
A day after a rare missed practice, Tide linebacker Dont’a Hightower was back on the field Friday morning.
The right hand Nick Saban said Hightower broke was heavily wrapped, though he didn’t appear to be held out of any contact drills during the media viewing period. Saban said surgery was performed on the fracture.
Center William Vlachos missed his second and third straight practices Friday after Saban said he was sick Thursday afternoon.
Junior college transfer Duron Carter’s absence also continued Friday as he still waits academic clearance.
Iron Bowl reunion
Alumni from the Iron Bowl games of yesteryear will meet this evening to benefit tornado relief.
Former players from Alabama and Auburn will kickoff at 7 p.m., at Spain Park in Hoover in the charity game with proceeds going to The Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund.
Alabama’s roster includes Derrick Odem, Mario Morris, Shannon Brown, Antonio Langham, Chris Goode, Clyde Goode, Kerry Goode, and Pierre Goode.
The other big names scheduled to play include Cornelius Bennett, Bobby Humphrey and coach Ray Perkins for Alabama, while Auburn has Brandon Cox, David Irons, Courtney Rose and Kenny Irons.