published Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Sims, Orr among Tide players in spring experiments

Michael Casagrande/Correspondent

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama football team can’t suffer a defeat in the next six months, so spring practice is a time for experimentation.

“This is the time to master your position,” coach Nick Saban said Tuesday. “We don’t have to play any games. We don’t have any game plans that we’re putting in. So everything that we do should be about what we do.”

For players such as Blake Sims, Anthony Orr and Vinnie Sunseri, what they’re doing might differ from previous assignments.

Sims, a redshirt freshman who can play several positions, is spending time with the quarterbacks again. He mimicked opponents such as LSU’s Jordan Jefferson and Auburn’s Cam Newton on the scout team last fall and is sticking with the position this spring.

Having a shortage of quarterbacks kept Sims from working with the running backs and receivers as he did part-time last year. Saban called him “an insurance policy” since AJ McCarron, Phillip Sims, and early-enrollee Phillip Ely were the only three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.

“There may be some position that we develop him at later. But for now, we felt the first thing he needed to do was learn quarterback for an emergency standpoint,” Saban said.

Defensive lineman Anthony Orr also redshirted last year. He’s 6-foot-4 and 258 pounds, so Saban said he was undersized as a defensive end. But with his pass-rushing abilities, Orr is working with the outside linebacker/end hybrids known as “Jack” linebackers.

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