The Jumbo Package | 02.24.14

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

All jokes aside about the 40, Alabama's AJ McCarron 'looks good' at NFL Combine throwing session |

Yes, his first throwing session in front of hundreds of NFL scouts, general managers and coaches went well.

"He looked today like he was just hanging out in the backyard and throwing it," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said to a group of reporters after Sunday's events."It was easy. He didn't seem like he felt any pressure. The ball comes out nicely. I don't think he's got a huge arm but he's got a good arm, and he's accurate."

Mayock said McCarron and UCF's Blake Bortles, who is considered a potential No. 1 pick, had the best days among quarterbacks who opted to throw. Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater did not throw.

I'm so glad that AJ decided to throw at the Combine.  From the sound of it, he had a pretty good day of it, and may have made himself some money.  All of the hubbub about AJ's forty time seems undeserved, in my opinion.  Blake Bortles, who is supposedly in the running to be the top QB taken overall, ran an almost identical time (4.93, compared to AJ's 4.94), and there hasn't been a peep about that time hurting him.

Also, you may hear references to AJ saying he feels disrespected, but I thought these comments were pretty innocuous in context.

Wrapping up former Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio's trip to the 2014 NFL Combine |

40-yard dash: 5.59 (worst of all participating offensive linemen)

Bench press: 21 reps of 225 pounds (tied for second-worst among participating linemen)

No way to sugar coat it.  CyKo had a miserable combine.  In addition to posting these terrible numbers, there was also the unfortunate revelation that his knee is a major concern to several teams, who have removed him from their draft board.

Cyrus is still projected to be a first round pick, so don't cry too hard for him, but it's safe to say that he may have lost a little bit of change over the weekend.

Jeoffrey Pagan the latest Alabama defensive lineman headed toward NFL pay day |

Pagan's expected to be the first of two Alabama defensive linemen selected in this year's draft, as Ed Stinson is projected as a later-round selection.

At least one Crimson Tide defensive lineman has been selected in each of the past four drafts. Damion Square wasn't picked in last year's, but he landed with Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent and kept his spot on the squad all season.

"At Alabama, I'm sold that no one works harder than us," said Pagan, who finished with 34 tackles and two sacks. "That's just something that stuck with me from my freshman year there to now."

Pagan will be working out today at the NFL Combine, alongside fellow defensive lineman Ed Stinson and linebackers Adrian Hubbard and C.J. Mosley.  You can watch the NFL Combine on the NFL Network, or you can stream it live HERE.

Alabama players: AJ McCarron was right, we were entitled -

The young players, however, disrupted the team dynamic, wide receiver Kevin Norwood said, dividing established players from the program's future cornerstones.

That's why "I'm agreeing with A.J.," Norwood said.

"You spend more time trying to get their minds right and letting them know it's not a bad thing getting redshirted," Norwood said. "Me and AJ got redshirted. It's not a bad thing. … It was tough just getting [the underclassmen] to go to class and keeping them out of coach [Nick Saban's] bad side."

Well, this is interesting.  First off, I wonder if the reaction to these comments will be to call down Norwood.  When it was only AJ making comments like this, I think it was easy for us as fans to kind of dismiss the charges as being born of a need to explain coming up short.  While that may still be the case, having a few players corroborate the diagnosis (former defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan is also quoted in this article) does lend it some credence.

The bottom line is: No, we probably would not be talking about this if not for a miracle play in the Iron Bowl or a flat Sugar Bowl, but just because it would have gone unsaid and unseen doesn't mean that there weren't fundamental problems with this team.  The losses may not have stemmed directly from these issues, but they did allow for the issues to be brought to the forefront.

Levi Randolph first Alabama player not named Releford to score 30 since 2008 |

Levi Randolph's 33 points crushed his previous career high of 20 in the 80-73 win over Missouri. He managed just 24 in the last seven games combined.

The junior's outburst was significant in another way. He became the first Alabama scorer to hit 30 points (non-Trevor Releford edition) in five seasons. Richard Hendrix scored 30 on Dec. 22, 2008 against Missouri State as the last to hit that milestone.


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