Alabama coach Nick Saban wants as few starters as possible playing on special teams. The Crimson Tide is plenty deep enough to accommodate that preference.
“The more you have to play starters on special teams, I think that affects you long term in terms of the wear and tear that you have on guys and how they get worn down in games,” Saban told reporters. “It's great for team chemistry that more players have a role as well.”
According to the Decatur Daily, Alabama could be looking for special-teams replacements for a pair of sophomores who might start: strong safety Vinnie Sunseri and linebacker Trey DePreist.
DePriest led the Tide with 14 special-teams tackles last season, while Sunseri made 11 -- all on kickoff coverage. Sunseri was named special teams player of the week five times, the paper said.
“Special teams is definitely an area where young players can get on the field,” Sunseri told the paper. “Trey and I were on it last year, and we were able to do OK at that. It's definitely an area where young guys can step up and make a big influence on the game.”
O-line update: The starting O-line is set and includes three preseason All-Americans: center Barrett Jones, guard Chance Warmack and tackle D.J. Fluker. But beat writer Andrew Gribble of Al.com notes there is not a “sure-fire, first offensive lineman off the bench.”
"When we see how guys develop and when we feel like what is the best combination of guys to play if something happened to a starter, then we try to create those roles," Saban told reporters.
Twitter policy: South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is among a growing number of coaches nationwide who have banned players from using Twitter. But Saban isn't going that far, saying he trusts his players not to harm the team with an ill-advised tweet.
“Abuse brings control,” he told reporters.
Position battles: The hottest camp battles are at wideout and corner, according to Gribble.
Junior receivers Kenny Bell and Kevin Norwood and sophomore Christion Jones have positioned themselves to start, Gribble said, but they're being pushed hard by freshmen Amari Cooper and Eddie Williams.
“All three of those guys are neck and neck,” Gribble said. “All three will have a significant role on this defense. … Alabama's defense is so complex, it's hard to call someone a starter. It's just a matter of who's playing and who's not [in that particular package].”
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from SEC bloggers Daniel Lewis and Larry Hartstein, follow @CBSSportsSEC.