Not much to report from practice yesterday beyond what you could all probably guess (Kendall Kelly still out, Blake Sims still working at RB), but with a scrimmage tomorrow there should be some juicy developments in a few areas and maybe a little more info on which younger players are really pushing for playing time at some of the positions that are still up for grabs. Unfortunately, Saban didn't sound too happy about the play of the ILBs thus far:
"We have a long way to go at (inside) linebacker," Saban said. "We have some guys that need to develop at that position. Dont'a (Hightower) is doing really well. He can play multiple positions. Chris Jordan has had a reasonably good camp. He needs to continue to make some improvement on the mental side of it. Past that, a lot of the young guys, they've got a long way to go. ... I'm not as concerned about (outside linebacker) in terms of their development, experience and ability to play. It's the inside guys and the multiples of how we can put them together."
Kind of tough to hear since Nico Johnson played most of last season in Hightower's place and handled himself reasonably well. On to the links:
In his continuing crusade to keep shady agents and their runners from affecting the eligibility of college players and just generally screwing everything up for the teams we all hold so dear, Saban organized a conference call with "NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, representatives from the NCAA, the NFL Players Association — as well as college coaches (ed.- including Jim Tressell, Urban Meyer, and Bob Stoops), athletic directors and agents" to discuss ways to help prevent incidents like AgentGate in the future:
"We’re all trying to put our heads together to figure out what we can do to level the playing field so that everybody that’s in the agent community, which some are very professional, have the same opportunity to recruit players," Saban said. "And that the bootleggers out there are guys that get punished and penalized, and the players that deal with them are going to have some of the same consequences."
I think he's hit the nail on the head with punishing both the agents and the players involved beyond simply ending their eligibility since, in the grand scheme of things, that's not much punishment for the athlete in question. For example, how does Reggie Bush sleep at night knowing all the harm he did to Southern Cal? Answer, on a pile of money with many beautiful women, and that's the biggest problem that coaches face when trying to keep players from making bad decisions when it comes to agents; they're still going to get paid either way. By creating consequences for the players it suddenly makes the decision a little bit easier.
First San Jose State's kicker tries to start ish, and now Bill Curry wants to run his mouth, too?
The story also quotes Georgia State coach Bill Curry -- yes, that Bill Curry -- on Jackson: "I watched him play in Alabama's spring game, and in my view, he was the best quarterback."
Cupcakes providing bulletin board material, dogs and cats living together... Anyway, gotta love this quote from Star:
The NFL preseason kicked off last night, and both Terrence Cody and Rolando McClain got their first chance to show what they could do in the pros:
"Bama is a machine. You do it like this, and if you don't -- your ass isn't playing."
Individually, Terrence Cody was a man against the Panthers, beating numerous double teams and causing havoc in the backfield multiple times. It really showed tonight just how strong and quick Cody can be on certain plays and poor Jimmy Clausen was scared for his life back there. Did Mount Cody really lineup at fullback? Yes, he did.
It wasn't all good for Cody, though:
Defensive tackle Terrence Cody got on the field first as a pass-eligible blocker on the Ravens' opening possession. On his second play, he lined up at fullback and jumped before the snap. The false start moved the ball from the Carolina 5 to the 10, and after Joe Flacco was sacked on third down by Tyler Brayton, the Ravens' Shayne Graham kicked a 32-yard field goal.
As for Ro, the jury is still out:
McClain's first NFL game came and went without the Raiders first-round draft pick making much of an impact. He played four series without making his presence felt in a meaningful way. He recorded one tackle and one assist. On the bright side for the Raiders, McClain played within the scheme, executed his assignments and played as if he belonged.
After only a week (or so) of fall camp, the injuries are already starting to mount up. Thankfully Kendall Kelly's heat issues are the only significant injuries to date (beyond a few nicks here and there and DeQuan Menzie apparently still a little slow after the quick return from surgery), but Tennessee (snicker), Florida, and SC have all lost several guys to more serious injury issues. Fingers crossed for the rest of our fall camp.