The Jumbo Package | 02.19.14

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Rested, but prepared, former Alabama QB AJ McCarron 'looks great' heading into NFL Combine |

Fewer and fewer quarterbacks have thrown at the Combine in recent years. Many, including potential top pick Johnny Manziel, will instead throw for scouts at their former school's respective Pro Days.

"I've talked to a lot of people. There's a lot of mixed emotions about that," McCarron said on The Dan Patrick Show. "It's hard to get timing with guys you've never repped with, especially for one day in throwing. I just have to wait and see and see how everything goes and go from there."

Throw the ball, AJ.

For Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, Combine will test more than measurables, analyst Mike Mayock says |

"When you come out as a junior and there's not as much known about you, I think part of the process that's most important is after all the measurables are over with, you start to sit down with offensive line coaches and you get an opportunity to get a door closed," Mayock said.

"They're going to find out how much you know about the game, how quickly you can learn, what are you? "For Kouandjio, those are all important questions. They don't know as much about him."

High school coach at DC talent factory takes job at Alabama |

Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, the coach of former Crimson Tide target Jalen Tabor, will join Nick Saban's staff as a defensive coach, according to the Washington Post. The paper reported he'd take a leave of absence from Friendship Collegiate Academy for the unspecified position.

Abdul-Rahim gained a national reputation while producing several 5-star recruits. His program was profiled by ESPN and Sports Illustrated when the 2012 class yielded 19 signed scholarships.

This looks like a guy who is going places, if that record for developing talent is any indication.  Make a note of his name, as I expect he may be climbing the coaching ranks before too long.

Kevin Norwood breaks down returning Alabama WRs, including 'overlooked' senior |

"I say look out for Raheem, Raheem Falkins, yeah," Norwood said. "He's a big, physical receiver, man. He has strong hands. ... He makes the kind of plays I make too. He goes up strong with the ball.

" At 6-foot-4, 203 pounds, Falkins brings a target even larger than Norwood (6-2, 195).  He played in seven games last season as a true freshman, but didn't catch a pass.

It wasn't until I saw it referenced here that I realized that Falkins didn't catch a pass last year.  He's definitely a guy with a big upside, and one that many of us here at RBR were looking to make a bit of a splash last year, so it's surprising that he didn't record a catch despite playing in so many games.  Of course, our backup quarterback situation didn't really allow for the reserve wide receivers to shine...

NCAA Football Rules Committee's Troy Calhoun backtracks on slowdown proposal - ESPN

Malzahn said that would be a "huge change" for teams like Auburn that use an up-tempo attack, and he is one of many coaches who claim the rule change would needlessly remove some of the competitive advantage that comes with operating at a high speed. "It's just a complete rule change,"

Malzahn said. "It would change the dynamics of traditional football in a lot more ways than anyone would think, not just if you get behind by a couple touchdowns and it's late in the game and you couldn't properly come back, but the way you'd coach your quarterbacks. It would just change the dynamics of football."

I... Th-... He...


Malzahn is seriously calling the HUNH "traditional football" now?  You've got to be kidding me.  And this whole bit about how it would be a "huge change" for Auburn? has this to say about that:

The Tigers ran 80 plays or more in their final two games, including the BCS National Championship. Still, the offense rarely snapped the ball within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock.

Auburn ran two plays with 30 seconds or more left on the clock in the BCS National Championship. The Tigers also ran two plays with 30 seconds or more remaining on the play clock against Arkansas.

This proposed rule is a bit of a joke.  There is no empirical evidence (that I'm aware of) to support its implementation, and because of that, it likely will not pass.  But that doesn't make the practices of the HUNH teams okay.  It's a garbage tactic enabled by abusing a 2008 rule, and in no way represents "traditional football".

Nick Saban looking for help? Not buying it - NCAA Football - Sporting News

Look, I hate to be the guy who defends a guy who doesn’t need it, but someone has to throw some logic into this. Because Alabama lost to Auburn (tempo offense); because Alabama then lost to Oklahoma (tempo offense) in the Sugar Bowl, suddenly Saban is scrambling for answers and his only avenue is the AFCA rules committee?

Here’s a novel idea: maybe Oklahoma simply played better than Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Maybe the Alabama defense last season wasn’t as good as everyone thought it was. And maybe, just maybe, Saban really is concerned about player safety — even though there is zero evidence tempo offense leads to more injuries.

Questions for Northwestern's Kain Colter at CAPA hearing

Colter is one of the key figures as the College Athletes Players Association tries to make its case that Northwestern football players are employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

CAPA lawyer John Adam said at a hearing last week that he would prove that Northwestern football players are compensated through scholarships that are conditional on a service they perform, thus making them employees under the meaning of the act.

On Tuesday, much of Adam's questioning of Colter reflected that point. Colter testified that, in essence, the football staff at Northwestern controlled what he could and couldn't do, at least beyond what would be controlled if he were a regular student. Colter said that football players have to get approval to for certain housing options, and their speech is restricted, because there are rules about what they can post on social media.

Moreover, he said that football conflicted with his academic goals. "What classes you can take, what major you can participate in, it's all based on football and your schedule," Colter said.

I think the "academic goals" point is a bit specious.  There are plenty of other extra curricular activities that would preclude an individual from pursuing particular majors or goals because of the time-intensive nature of the activities.  That being said, I find it hard to argue that football scholarships are anything other than compensation for services provided, so it will be interesting to see how that point is dodged (if it is).

Alabama signee Ronnie Clark receives Inspiration Award from USA Today |

"My family helped me learn how to be a young man, to take everything with responsibility," Clark said. "My mom taught me responsibility and my dad taught me how to be a man."

Clark spent the majority of his high school career taking care of both his mother, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, and his grandmother, who battled a brain tumor. Clark's father's job took him out of town often, leaving the star quarterback to handle both his family and his high school football career, as well as his academic responsibilities.

Good grief.  Fresh out of high school, this kid already has faced way more adversity than many of us "full grown" adults.

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