Before the Roll Bama Roll 2011 Sweetheart practice begins in earnest later this afternoon, RBR blogtator Todd Jones talked to the media about the early stages of fall practice and the controversy surrounding the crowded sweetheart position after signing five in the spring:
"We are excited about the challenges and opportunities that the blog has this year. By every indication that we've seen since the spring, we have a lot of ladies that are committed to a high standard of hawtness and charming the Football Gods. We obviously, like every blog, have some question marks and challenges. Some sweethearts on the site need to take advantage of the opportunities created by those questions and challenges and how that all works out will go a long way in determining where this blog can go. It's not really about expectations. It's really about how many young women can go and do their job on a consistent basis versus how many we have who don't seem to be able to get it right, be it their ability to choose an appropriate look in public, avoid scandalous and/or trashy headlines, or manage to stay away from bad influences like Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan. All of those things contribute to the competitive character and consistency that you can go out and win with."
"There are a couple of updates that y'all need to be aware of. We are currently waiting on clearance for Lyndsy Fonseca. At issue is her minor role in Kick Ass, which we thought carried enough name recognition as her more substantial role in Hot Tub Time Machine. We're hopeful she can join the blog within the week, but if there is a continued holdup we have discussed the possibility of a greyshirt."
"Jennifer Lawrence is currently battling a minor ankle injury that has kept her from walking in heels for the most of the summer, but we are confident she will be back to full strength before the end of fall camp and will be able to go through all the drills without being limited."
"We are very pleased with the progress of Laura Vandervoort over the summer. She has a much better knowledge of what's expected from the sweetheart position, and we think she brings a different skill set than we've typically had at the position, and has a real chance to contribute in a different way than the rest of the ladies."
"Despite some nasty internet rumors, Rose Byrne is here with us and practicing at full speed. Whoever started the rumor she had contracted leprosy during a fishing trip in Costa Rica has too much time on their hands."
"Finally, Camilla Belle has shown the most leadership over the summer and brings a certain "Frenchness" to the position that screams both classy and kinda dirty at the same time. We'll continue to split opportunities between all the girls, but so far Belle has probably shown the most upside relative to what we want in a sweetheart."
"As far as practice getting started, when you are installing like we are installing the first few weeks are all about the fundamentals and establishing the foundation of what we want to do as a blog. For these young women that's the most difficult time to evaluate because the learning curve is accentuated and accelerated, and you are trying to teach all these things in a very short amount of time. It's more about evaluating how they are learning what they're supposed to do than it is about what they can do. I know everybody wants some instant prediction of who is going to be the starting sweetheart and who is going to contribute and in what capacity or whatever. But blogging is a developmental game, and I've talked about that before. It's going to take some time for us to be able to install things with these sweethearts so that they develop confidence in what they are supposed to do, how they are supposed to do it and why it's important to do it that way so they can actually go out there with confidence and direct their efforts in a positive direction towards the season. I know everybody wants to ask questions about certain girls and it's just too early to tell. I'm pleased with this group. We have some sweethearts that are probably going to bring in some good hoodoo on Fridays and maybe some that can contribute and help this blog in a more limited role. There are certainly a lot of opportunities and we are hopeful that some of those ladies can develop and be contributors this year."