Quick and dirty this morning, folks, 'cause the last two days of travel have really put me behind.
Nico will be along in a little while with some good detailed shots and more impressions from the trip, but I have to say that we came out really well in this, much better than I was expecting. One of the Nike reps told us afterwards that they were the most worried about our fanbase's reaction to the changes, but thankfully the university had plenty of say in the design and several of the changes (like the shield at the collar and the A on the hip) I wouldn't mind keeping on a permanent basis. Marty Lyons summed it up well:
"They are very subtle," Lyons said of the changes. "It’s not like they took the white pants and made them all houndstooth. That’s not the tradition. That’s not Alabama. I wouldn’t be in favor of that. But to look at what they’ve done and the professionalism of the people who designed it, I think Nike took the rich tradition of the university and the people who have contributed to that tradition and done a good job."
With Ingram sidelined for at least one game, go ahead and get ready for the tsunami of "Trent Richardson is better" comments. Of course, Saban is having none of it:
WARNING: this link leads to comments by Gary Danielson. Proceed at your own risk.
And speaking of liking and respecting each other:
Ingram has been praising Richardson throughout the preseason, talking about how the two make each other better in practice.
"I think he should be preseason All-SEC, All-American, All-Everything on every award, because he's a great player," Ingram told Don Kausler, Jr. of The Birmingham News. "He's explosive. He's dynamic. He's getting smarter as a student of the game every day."
It's kind of hard to believe that he's been around so long, but Chavis Williams was part of Saban's very first signing class, spurning Arkansas and heading to Tuscaloosa after a sudden offer from Saban (and after no offer from Shula), and now's his time to shine:
"I was raised to never give up, and just to keep working until you get what you want to come out of it," said Williams, who has watched Ezekial Knight (2007) and Cory Reamer (2008, 2009) start ahead of him in the last three years. "Over the years, there has been a lot of competition at linebacker. Cory Reamer, guys like Rolando (McClain), and this year there has been a lot of competition. But I just speak for myself, try to go out and work hard and try to compete with those guys."
And if the staff's faith in Williams isn't enough to make you believe he can play, check out this quote from Hightower:
"He’s one of the veterans on the team. Even I’m out there sometimes and I’m like, ‘What do we check to?,’ Chavis is one of those guys other than Mark Barron who knows the defense so well."