Tape It Up: Slow out of the Gate

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Slow out of the Gate

Practices began across the country this past weekend, and most players were pumped to be back in pads. The less fortunate were stalking the sidelines, still hampered by lingering injuries or cursing themselves for developing new ones. Here's quick rundown on who got 2007 off on the wrong foot.

It was a tough weekend for Auburn. The Tigers were missing center Jason Bosley and running back Carl Stewart for the majority of the weekend, and lost several other players at various points on account of the heat. Stewart injured his hamstring during Friday's practice and sat out all of Saturday's workouts. Bosley is struggling with a strained pectoral muscle, so head coach Tommy Tuberville is keeping the 294-pound junior out of all contact drills. Taking Bosley out exposed some major inexperience at the position, as backup Mike Berry was 0-2 on his first two attempts to snap the ball, turning what should have been smooth exchanges into quick fumbles. Tuberville (and quarterback Brandon Cox, and the entire offense) expect Bosley to be back in full pads this week.

The Alabama heat was the biggest punisher of the weekend for the Tigers. Team policy requires that any player losing more than a certain percentage of their weight in a short period of time must sit out of practice, which led to the benching of A.J. Greene, Jemarcus Ricks and Bryant Miller at various points during the two-a-day weekend.

Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey was his usual vague self regarding the severity of tight end Colin Peek's unidentified injury. Peek spent practice pacing the sidelines with a hint of a limp, allowing non-experienced backups freshman Austin Barrick and sophomores Brad Sellers to get some reps in. Gaily did not comment on Peek's injury, but covered all of his bases by saying that it will either be short-term, or could drag out for a while. The team is preparing for a long-term loss, but that is a worst-case scenario for the Yellow Jackets, who lost their top two tight ends to graduation. Neither Barrick nor Sellers have any collegiate experience at the position - Sellers was a defensive end last season and Barrick was a full-time receiver in high school and has minimal blocking experience.

Alabama freshman tailback Demetrius Goode had the nation's worst first practice on Friday, roughing up the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his knee, requiring an MRI. If the ligament is torn, the true freshman will miss the entire season. With eight other running backs on the roster, the Tide won't be left thin at that position, but what a way to start your college career.

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