The Jumbo Package │04.01.14

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes

CB already covered some of this stuff in his Spring Practice #5 update but of course I wanted to give my unique spin on some of the talking points.

Nick Saban supports athletes' right to a voice, points to benefits not counted in scholarships | AL.com

"I've always been an advocate of players' rights. I've always been an advocate of players being compensated the best that we can to help them," Saban said. "Whatever the NCAA rule is and whatever they decide to do, I've always been an advocate of the player and the quality of life that a player has. I think that having a voice in what happens, I think, is something that the players probably ought to have." "And I'm really not opposed to that at all. I do think that it's not what it seems."

Some people have already taken up issue with how Saban described how much players' education is really worth, at least at Alabama, but at least we can all agree on one issue— the players should have a voice. Regardless of what happens with "pay for play" the NCAA should have a council made up of current and former players who speak on behalf of all the players. If that comes in the form of a Union, so be it.

Checking in with Tony Brown, Eddie Jackson and the rest of Alabama's cornerbacks | AL.com

"I think some guys about now start to worry about the depth chart and where they are on the depth chart," he said. "Well, we really don’t have a depth chart.  "Really what we’re trying to do is coach every guy so they can be the best player they can be and nobody should judge anybody and nobody should pout about anything. Everybody should be focused on getting better."

Saban also pointed out that they were looking for more consistency from our corners. Honestly, this scares me to death. Maybe Saban is just doing his best to stifle expectations but hearing that our corners are still struggling should give us all pause.

Also, I wonder who was pouting? The groupings seemed to be fairly paired.

Primarily, we monitored the actions of freshman Tony Brown and sophomore Eddie Jackson, who were grouped together most of the time. Also paired together were juniors Bradley Sylve and Cyrus Jones. Sophomore Maurice Smith and redshirt freshman Anthony Averett are also featured in a few clips.

I really have high hopes for Jackson, Smith and Sylve. They were young and inexperienced last year which led to most of their mistakes but we desperately need them to step up as leaders in the secondary this year if we have any hopes of winning the SEC West, let alone the SEC or national championship.


Also, did you guys catch Saban's comments about the defensive line? Apparently, that group isn't quite living up to his lofty expectations. Seriously y'all, we need to do some pre-season hoodoo cause if the corners and defensive line don't come together 2014 will be a rough year.

Tosh Lupoi reportedly joining Nick Saban's Alabama football program | OregonLive.com

Lupoi is  the assistant coach who instructed Cal defenders to fake injuries against Oregon and later was the subject of an NCAA recruiting investigation at Washington. Saban is the coach who was at the forefront of a proposal that would have slowed down no-huddle offenses in the name of player safety.

That's according to Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports, who reports Lupoi will not be a position coach but may land in the Crimson Tide's personnel department. Lupoi was cleared of wrongdoing in the UW case after a six-week NCAA investigation. He left the Huskies in a mutual separation buyout worth $300,000.

The recruiting investigation thing makes me nervous but I love that quote about instructing players to fake injuries. I really hope that is the tactic we take against HUNH teams. It would certainly make for some good off-season debating in 2015.

Alabama notebook: Lake has surgery, out for the spring - TimesDaily: Sports

O-line observations.

Third-year sophomore Brandon Greene was given a look as the first-team left offensive tackle with senior Leon Brown and freshman Cam Robinson behind him. Brown ran with the first team before spring break.

Greene working at LT with the first teamers? I know Saban likes to move players around to different positions but I didn't see this one coming. I think this is an attempt to build depth at LT, since we are little thin at that position. I also heard that Grant Hill was seen working at center and right Tackle. I also assume him at center is just a depth building experiment for Spring since we have two centers joining the team this Summer.

In debate over best potential nonconference matchups, Alabama keeps popping up as opponent | AL.com

Of course, it begs to the question: Which team would you like to see Nick Saban's troops face?

That's an interesting question. I would like to see us play FSU, since we need to avenge 2007, but I'd also like to see us play USCw in a home and home. (The Rose Bowl, Kiffin, two storied programs, etc.)

Alabama baseball ranked No. 15, hopes to continue improvement | TuscaloosaNews.com

It is the highest ranking Alabama has had since it entered the 2009 NCAA Tournament at No. 14. "I think for us and the program overall right now, it's important," UA coach Mitch Gaspard said of re-entering the top 25. His team returns to the field today as it hosts Louisiana Monroe at 6:05 p.m. "One, I'm happy for our players to be recognized for our hard work, but two I think it starts to give you credibility when you're in the top 25.

If the bats can come alive a little more this team could really make a run. They'll need them in the future cause I don't see them making it far in the post season with just good pitching and defense.

Weekend sweep propels Alabama softball to No. 1 in latest RPI rankings | AL.com

The Crimson Tide hosts No. 10 South Alabama on Wednesday.

RPI Top 25

1. Alabama

2. Georgia

3. UCLA

4. Florida State

5. Tennessee


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