TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The football team began its 2012 preseason schedule with a split practice on Friday morning at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.
"It was great to get started today," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "I was really pleased with the team chemistry and attitude of this group of players that we have. We had very good summer offseason work. We're going to have a lot of young players and a lot of opportunities for those players to play and have a role on the team. How well they learn and mature as players is going to be the key to how quickly this team develops."
The first of 28 practice sessions before the season opener on September 1 began at 9:30 a.m. Friday with a two-hour workout that included mostly veterans in shorts and helmets. The remaining members of the team will meet for a two-hour practice that is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
"I felt like overall it was a good practice," said quarterback AJ McCarron. "Everybody practiced hard, and we didn't have a lot of subs so a lot of guys got a lot of reps. We kept the energy up on offense, which is going to be key for us this year. This was a good first day."
The offense enters the 2012 season with six returning starters, including McCarron, who was named Offensive MVP of the BCS National Championship game. In addition, the Tide boasts a veteran line up front with Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker and Anthony Steen.
Alabama will hold its first combined practice of 2012 on Saturday. The veterans and newcomers are slated to work out together at 2:30 p.m. at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.The Tide's annual Fan Day will take place on Sunday, August 5, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Fan Day will start with an open practice from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Following practice, student-athletes and coaches will be available for autographs during a 45-minute session on the field. Fans may enter the stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m. at gates 11 and 17.