Cody's size seems to be big burden
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
By Mike Herndon
The Mobile Press-Register
Alabama defender weighs 370 pounds at Senior Bowl
MOBILE - Alabama coach Nick Saban rode into Fairhope Municipal Stadium in a black SUV, stepping briskly to the edge of the field to watch six of his former players work for the Miami Dolphins coaching staff in the first practice of Senior Bowl week.
When it was over, he greeted them at midfield. And he had a question for one of them.
"Why don't you just tell me what you weighed in at?" Saban asked nose tackle Terrence Cody.
To which Cody replied: "310."
Saban smiled at the joke. Both of them knew Mount Cody hasn't been 310 pounds in a long time.
Cody, the two-time All-American nose tackle who anchored Alabama's stingy defensive front, actually tipped the scales at 370 pounds in Monday's Senior Bowl weigh-in at the Mobile Convention Center. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said that's a number that will not help the draft status of a prospect for whom conditioning is a primary concern.
"It hurts. And it wasn't a clean 370," Mayock said. "How many quality snaps you get out of him is going to be directly proportionate to what kind of shape he's in."
Neither Cody nor Saban were surprised by the number. The 6-foot-5 nose tackle had weighed nearly 400 pounds when was signed by Alabama out of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, but dropped about 30 pounds before the 2008 season started and established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the interior line. He was listed at 354 when the 2009 season began and at 365 on the Senior Bowl's initial roster, released before the weigh-in.
"Everybody here was asking me how much Cody weighs," Saban said. "I said, 'Well, let me wait until he turns around to where I can see him from the front and I can give you a pretty good guesstimate.' And I said 368. So I missed it by two pounds."
Cody acknowledged Monday that he needs to show scouts this week that his conditioning will not be an issue in the NFL. The Senior Bowl offers him and the other five Tide seniors in Mobile this week - cornerback Javier Arenas, offensive lineman Mike Johnson, tight end Colin Peek, kicker Leigh Tiffin and running back Roy Upchurch - a chance to showcase their skills for potential future employers in the NFL. Saban, who was South head coach Tony Sporano's predecessor at Miami, said the event is a "critical" step in preparing for the April draft.
"I think this week is always special because you're coached by NFL coaches, and you actually see guys practicing football," he said, "which this will be the only opportunity in an all-star game that a lot of the people in the NFL will have a chance to do that."
It's a particularly welcome opportunity for Upchurch, who got few carries this year while playing behind Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and heralded freshman Trent Richardson.
"This is great for him," Saban said of Upchurch, who was named to the squad as a replacement for LSU's Charles Scott. "Roy's a great player and I think he'll make a team, because he's great on special teams, would be a great third-down back. This is a good opportunity for him. A lot of people will see a lot of good things in Roy this week."
While Monday's practice offered Saban an opportunity to relax a bit and watch other coaches work, it will be a short break. With signing day just over a week away and work left to do in finalizing this year's class, he's allowed himself little time to admire the newest addition to the Tide's trophy case.
"Every success brings a new set of issues," he said. "Ever since I got hit in the head with a bucket after the (national championship) game, I've been dealing with lots of issues. That's what we'll continue to do, but that's what we expect. Our focus in not on last year's team now, but next year's team ... we're trying to do everything we can to get that as good as it can be."
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