Saban: Position changes not permanent

Saban%3A+Position+changes+not+permanent

Coach Nick Saban works with the defensive backs on Tuesday’s afternoon practice CW/ | John Michael Simpson

Jason Galloway

After freshman Corey Grant and Michael Bowman practiced at a different position for the second straight day Tuesday, head coach Nick Saban said the experiments are just that, experiments.

Grant, who came to Alabama as a running back, has been working with the defensive backs since the Crimson Tide defense gave up nine passing touchdowns in the team’s first scrimmage of the year Saturday.

“We, mostly out of necessity for practice, moved Corey Grant to corner,” Saban said. “That is not a permanent move. It is just to evaluate what his chances might be to play that position.”

Bowman, who saw playing time at wide receiver last season as a freshman, has been running drills with the tight ends since Monday.

“Michael Bowman we’re looking at a little bit as an H-back, tight end type of guy,” Saban said. “Those two things [Grant and Bowman’s new positions] are both things that are experimental in nature. They are not something that’s etched in stone.”

Warmack among top O-line performers

Saban said after Tuesday’s practice that sophomore offensive lineman Chance Warmack is one of the Tide’s five best offensive linemen right now.

“I think he’s one of our five best offensive linemen, at least at this time,” Saban said. “He’s a powerful guy. He’s explosive. He’s gained a lot of confidence. He has been a very consistent performer for us all through the spring and all through this fall camp.”

Robby Green to return to team

Safety Robby Green, who was declared ineligible by the NCAA in April, has not practiced with the team this fall. Saban said Tuesday Green had his tonsils removed and that Green will practice with the team throughout the season.

“He’s needed [his tonsils removed] probably for a while,” Saban said. “So, we thought this was a good window for him to do that. We will coach him throughout the season. We will develop him as a player to play in the future here, and his role is going to have to be to help the other players on the team improve and get ready to play. Even if he has to be on the look squad some, it will help the offense get ready.”

Practice notes

Saban said Tuesday that tight end/defensive lineman Undra Billingsley is day-to-day with an ankle sprain, and freshman Blake Sims dislocated a toe in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“Nobody knows how long either of these guys are going to be out,” Saban said. “I don’t think they’re out long term.”

Saban said freshman cornerback DeMarcus Milliner’s ankle sprain suffered Saturday could be a bit more serious than Billingsley’s or Sims’ injury.

D.J. Fluker missed the second practice of a two-a-day Monday because of an illness, but was back at practice Tuesday.

Saban said Tuesday that many players have developed nicely in the return game. He specifically mentioned Julio Jones and Marquis Maze for punt return and Jones, Maze, Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram and Darius Hanks for kickoff returns.