Norwood, along with cornerback John Fulton, missed the first practice of the spring practice season with toe injuries and will likely miss more.
“Both guys will be OK in the summer and fall, but probably pretty questionable for the spring,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Kevin for sure. John probably for sure as well.”
Fulton had offseason surgery on his toe after injuring it in the loss to Texas A&M while Norwood continued to play through the BCS National Championship Game win over Notre Dame.
Back from vacation
Guaranteed money was simply too much to pass up for Jai Miller, who passed up both college football and college basketball to sign with the then-Florida Marlins after being taken in the fourth round of the 2003 MLB Draft.
After nine years of baseball, including 20 games with the 2010 Kansas City Royals and seven games with the 2011 Oakland Athletics, Miller has returned to his homestate to play for the Crimson Tide football team.
“I think anytime you’re off for awhile, it takes a little bit of time to transition back into it,” Saban said. “But I’ve been encouraged by his athleticism and his size. He’s a bright guy. He does learn. I saw him make a tremendous amount of improvement on the field today.
“Everything it new to him, every technique is new to him. I’m sure things are running a little bit together for him on the first day but I’m encouraged by how he might be able to help us.”
New directionIn its first practice, Alabama welcomed in three new assisstant coaches for their first showing with the Crimson Tide: offensive line coach Mario Cristobal, wide receivers coach Billy Napier and defensive backs coach Greg Brown.
The trio replaced Jeff Stoutland after his move to the Philadelphia Eagles, Mike Groh after his move to the Chicago Bears and Jeremy Pruitt after his move to Florida State, respectively.
“All those coaches were out there coaching and teaching every play,” Saban said. “I’m encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm they’re bringing, and the new ideas they’re bringing. It’s all been positive from my standpoint.”
But Saban recognized that they were in fact thrown into a fire of sorts.
“I think we try to cover as many things as we possibly can in terms of what the expectations are and trying to define how we do things, what we want, and all that,” Saban said. “But inevitably, until you do it, you probably aren’t going to hit every circumstance that can possibly come up, and how you’d like to manage it and what you’d like to do. But I thought the energy and enthusiasm was good.”
Saban visited Moore before his departure for Duke
Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore, currently undergoing testing at Duke University Medical Center with pulmonary issues, received a visit from Saban on Wednesday before he was transported to Duke.
“I know Mal’s in good spirits. I went to see him on Wednesday,” Saban said. “I think he’s in great hands with a lot of good people and I know he’s got a lot of family around him that are being very supportive, including his daughter Heather.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with him and certainly appreciate all of our fans and everyone out there who supports Alabama football to have a thought and prayer for Mal and his family as well.”