This had already been noted yesterday, but just to confirm what we've expected regarding the lack of practice having an effect on his ability to contribute early:
"He's got to work himself back into shape," Alabama coach Nick Saban said following Thursday's practice.
Not a glowing endorsement there, but what else is there to think? He just made the move to DB in the spring and yesterday was his first full practice of the fall. Plus, after today we start work on opponents so the opportunity to work on technique for Kelly is all but gone. Let's hope he can get back up to speed soon despite this hurdle, 'cause we need him.
We've been pretty gung ho around here that Dareus won't face any punishment since he's continued to work with the first team throughout fall, but the NCAA dragging it's heels like this is starting to make me uncomfortable. If we don't know anything by the start of the season, do we risk letting Dareus on the field? Fingers crossed this gets cleared up next week. And speaking of...
Even though scouts were back at practice the other day, Saban's crusade against "pimp" agents isn't going away anytime soon:
"There have been and there will be more, at some time in the future, meetings with all these groups in the same room, which may have never happened before, relative to trying to solve this problem," Saban said. "I’m very pleased with how people are approaching this, the attitude that they have toward approaching it, and how aggressively everybody has tried to move to help solve this problem."
Put "stockpiling talent" there below "depth chart" on the list of terms we shouldn't be using anymore:
Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked if he has a feel for how many true freshmen might play this season on a team on which talent has been stockpiled.
"No, I don't. ... I've never said anything about the talent that we stockpile," he said. "That's strictly you all's opinion and the guys from Scout.com and wherever. ...
A bit of basketball news for you: this season's basketball schedule was released yesterday and Coach Grant seems pretty pleased with it:
"We have assembled an exciting and demanding non-conference schedule," head coach Anthony Grant said. "Seven of our 14 potential non-conference opponents advanced to the postseason last year, including five teams that finished with an RPI in the top 50. We feel these early season challenges will prepare us for the always rigorous SEC schedule."
If Jimbo Fisher is as close to a Saban clone as Kirby Smart has become, we should all be putting Florida State higher on the blogpoll. Go read the Orlando Sentinel's interview for some good tidbits about their relationship at LSU and how it's affected the way Fisher is approaching his head coaching gig in Tallahassee.
I think he appreciated my knowledge of the game. I appreciated his knowledge of the game. And then I think as you really got into it, we both are very philosophically the same. You know, after [a while] I really understood the mental aspects of where he was coming from – the hard work, toughness, relentlessness. But also that I think we were both very player-oriented. In other words, no matter what we thought we understood we had a job because of the players. And we were there to develop them and help them as people … but to coach the heck out of them.