The Jumbo Package | 02.21.2014

Butch Dill

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

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Former Alabama QB AJ McCarron will throw, participate in all workouts at NFL Combine | AL.com

AJ McCarron plans to be a full participant at this weekend's NFL Combine, a source confirmed to AL.com on Thursday.

That means the former Alabama quarterback will be throwing for scouts Sunday when he goes through the on-field portion of his four-day stay at the biggest scouting event of the pre-Draft process.

YES.  So glad to see AJ stepping up to the plate for this one.  Hope he knocks them dead.

Shouldering on: For former Alabama OG Anthony Steen, missing Sugar Bowl was a 'tough time' | AL.com

Steen said he initially injured his shoulder in July when he over-exerted himself bench-pressing. It "felt funny," Steen said, but he never told anybody about it.

The real pain started in late September against Ole Miss. On the second offensive snap of the game, AJ McCarron took a hit and toppled onto Steen's shoulder. He could barely move his arm, but he remained in the game and didn't miss a significant snap the rest of the regular season.

Steen said he never considered missing time during the season. He simply played with a "shield" on the shoulder until an end-of-season MRI told him he needed to shut it down.

I mainly wanted to post this as a reminder that every year, there seems to be players playing through serious injuries, and us fans are none the wiser.  You are not strong.

Arkansas' Bret Bielema: Player's death evidence hurry-up offenses can pose safety risk (report) | AL.com

The coach said Agu had sickle cell trait, an ailment that "half a dozen" of his players at Arkansas have and he wants more time to be able to take players out of the game if needed.

"If one of those players is on the field for me, and I have no timeouts, I have no way to stop the game," Bielema said, according to the Associated Press. "And he raises his hand to stop the game, and I can't do it. What am I supposed to do?

"What are we supposed to do when we have a player who tells us he's injured?"

Geez, Bert.

Shut_up_medium

/turns away from Bert to face everyone else in the room

Bert is no longer allowed to talk, ok?  If you want to win this battle, don't ask stupid, quasi-rhetorical questions that have obvious answers.  What are you supposed to do if a player is injured?  Have him fall down.  Next question.

And trying to link a death that happened during conditioning drills in practice to this rule?

Steve Spurrier of South Carolina Gamecocks calls slowdown proposal 'Saban Rule' - ESPN

But Spurrier, a rival of Saban and Bielema's in the SEC, has joined Auburn coach Gus Malzahn in advocating against the proposal. Spurrier told USA Today he left a voicemail for Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, chairman of the rules committee.

"I just told him I was against it," Spurrier told the newspaper. "It's ridiculous. Let's let everybody keep playing the way they've been playing."

Although Rogers Redding, the NCAA's coordinator of officiating and secretary-rules editor of the rules committee, says Saban's role in the proposal has been overstated, Spurrier doesn't believe that. "He took it upon himself to go before the rules committee and get it done," Spurrier said of Saban. "They tried to change the rules. But I don't think they're gonna get away with it."

...

"To me, that's part of football," Spurrier said. "The 'no-huddle' has always been available. I don't see why we'd take it away right now."

I don't want to alarm anyone, but...

Suicide_medium

I'm not upset that this rule probably won't pass, but it bothers me to no end that coaches around the country continue to say nonsense and nobody calls them on it.  This rule doesn't in any way take away the "no-huddle", and the substitution prevention practices by modern offenses has not "always been available", as it only appeared in 2008, when the 40-second play clock was implemented, and the referee no longer had to declare the ball ready for play.

If people want to support the hurry up no huddle no substitutions (HUNHNS) style, that's fine, but don't do it by claiming that this is the way that it has always been.  Eurasia has not always been at war with Eastasia, Mr. Spurrier, and it would be nice if the media at large would stop letting you claim that it has.

Richt on proposed substitution rule change: ‘I personally don’t think it’s a health-issue deal’ | DogBytes Online

"I feel like if you can train offensive players to play five or six plays in a row, you can train defensive players to play that many plays in a row, too," Richt said Thursday afternoon. "I personally don’t think it’s a health-issue deal, but if there’s some evidence otherwise, it will be interesting to see it. …I think it’s somebody’s assumption. I don’t think there’s any hard evidence on it."

Indeed, committee chair Troy Calhoun from Air Force has said there may not be evidence of a safety issue and if not "there should not be any adjustment," to the rule. An NCAA rules oversight panel needs to approve the change on March 6 for it to be enacted.

As I said, don't look for this to pass.  The rule makes sense, but there is no hard evidence to support the change.  If that is truly the threshold, then this won't make it through.

Alabama Crimson Tide sues former assistant coach Mike Groh - ESPN

The University of Alabama has sued former assistant coach Mike Groh seeking payment of his contract buyout. The suit filed Thursday in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court says Groh owes the university $57,000, equal to 20 percent of his $285,000 salary.

Groh was hired by the Chicago Bears as receivers coach in February 2013 after two seasons as the Crimson Tide's receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

The suit says Tide coach Nick Saban "elected not to waive the liquidated damages" allowed under Groh's contract. It says the university has made written requests that the money be paid.

Not ever a good look to be suing (former) assistants Groh has come and gone from Bama a couple times now, but after this lawsuit, I don't know that I'd expect to see him back in crimson.

Alabama offers Texas running backs Soso Jamabo, Jordan Stevenson | AL.com

Alabama's flood of early scholarship offers to elite running backs around the country continued this week as the Crimson Tide staff extended offers to two elite backs from the state of Texas.

Plano star Soso Jamabo and Dallas standout Jordan Stevenson both picked up offers from Alabama this week, joining more than a dozen other backs in the 2015 class that have received offers from the Tide.

Bama seems to be casting a wide net for running backs this year.  I would throw my support behind Soso Jamabo for his name alone, but I double down when I see this kid looks to have serious skills.

Alabama set to host pair of elite Florida recruits on Friday | AL.com

Cox, a 6-foot, 220-pound fullback, has attended a camp at Alabama but told 247Sports he wants to see more of what the program has to offer during his visit. "It's probably one of the top programs in the nation," Cox said.

"Just being up there you can feel the intensity about it, and I like that. I think it's a great school so I'm excited." Cox is rated the nation's No. 2 fullback and holds more than a dozen scholarship offers.

Interesting to see us pursuing a true fullback.  Is this a sign of a schematic shift we should all expect?

Judge allows O'Bannon v. NCAA to proceed to trial - College Football - Stewart Mandel - SI.com

Four-and-a-half years after the case was filed, a federal judge Thursday green-lighted Ed O'Bannon's class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA to proceed to trial beginning June 9.

Barring a settlement before then, the plaintiffs will ask a jury to strike down the NCAA's age-old restrictions preventing athletes from cashing in on their name, likeness and image.

"We're not asking for any money to be paid," Michael Hausfeld, attorney for the plaintiffs, said during Thursday's summary judgment hearing before U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken. "We are asking for the restraint to be removed ... and then the market will determine how it plays out."

Without knowing specific details of this case, I'm inclined to think these guys are going to win the case against the NCAA.  If they do, this could go down as one of the craziest offseasons ever.  Who knows what the ramifications of that decision would be.

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