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March 30, 2011With poor weather pending, the University of Alabama took to the shelter of the Hank Crisp Indoor Athletic Facility Wednesday for the sixth of 15 spring practices. A few observations from the media viewing period:
*** The UA quarterbacks were active in individual drills, firing rounds of short out routes and a slightly deeper set of "back shoulder" throws to the wide receivers. A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims, frontrunners for the job, both looked sharp Wednesday, particularly on the out routes. WR Michael Bowman made an outstanding catch on a pass from Sims during the back-shoulder drill, in which the pass is thrown slightly behind and above the receiver by design. On Wednesday, there was no evident separation between McCarron and Sims during individual work. Redshirt freshman Blake Sims, whom UA coach Nick Saban is grooming as an "emergency" option at quarterback, looked more like the guy who quarterbacked UA's scout team offense last year than the guy who otherwise worked with running backs. The "other" Sims has visibly improved in individual drills since practice opened on March 21.
*** Offensive lineman Tyler Love was not at practice (possible concussion), marking his third absence in six practices. There is no indication of when Love might return.
*** The same five players who have been withheld from contact since spring began were withheld again Wednesday: Jarrick Williams, Mark Barron, Nick Perry, Jonathan Atchison and Brad Smelley.
*** Suspended players Robby Green and Brandon Moore, once again, were not in attendance.
*** Freshman Vinnie Sunseri continued to work with the defensive backs and looked smooth and confident during backpedaling drills. Don't be surprised if Sunseri finishes the spring in the secondary.
*** UA will resume practice Friday afternoon before scrimmaging for the first time this spring on Saturday.
*** Stay with Tidesports.com for complete coverage of UA football practice, including a notebook later tonight, as well as a video practice report, video practice highlights, a photo gallery, and another "Player Cam" feature.