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Great Plays in Alabama History: Prothro's Block

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Alabama, historically, is thought of as a "run first" team and the incredible amount of 1,000 yard running backs we've produced over time bears this out when compared to the number of receivers we've produced that have put up gaudy numbers. That being said, despite seldom being a pass happy team, you all are a savvy lot and we've had more than a few discussions about the blocking abilities of various receivers. More often that not, these have centered around Julio Jones and his unselfish attitude towards blocking for the good of the team instead of being someone who loafs when he knows the ball isn't going to thrown to him.

Jones was as clutch of a receiver as Alabama has ever had--coming up with huge plays at critical junctures in multiple games. In the 2009 season alone, he made huge plays against LSU and Auburn that helped propel us into the SEC Championship game and eventually on to a national title. That being said, we all know of Jones' skill as a blocker and that that skill is one thing that helped elevate him above his peers.

We've also had more than a few discussions about how certain receivers over time kind of mailed it in on downs when they knew the ball wasn't going to end up in their hands. They'd run lazy routes at half speed which would achieve virtually nothing and be a detriment to the team since they weren't giving their all on every snap.

We all know that our beloved head coach, Nick Saban, preaches that one has to give it all on every play and that a game should be approached one play at a time. Dominate on every down and you'll eventually get your opponent to quit. When scanning various videos for this week's clip, I read the comments on YouTube about Prothro's block that you viewed above. Some people were saying that it was unnecessary for Prothro to lay down this block given Keith Brown's lightning speed and the fact that he was clearly pulling away from the defenders. First of all, you don't (or shouldn't) think like that during a game. Secondly, Prothro was giving 100% on the play. Sure, he probably knew those guys weren't going to catch Keith Brown (who would have?), but Prothro gave all he had and caromed the one defender into the other and literally took out two birds with one stone (pun fully intended.) 

While it was a great bit of individual blocking, this post is ultimately about the importance of receivers blocking and Coach Saban's "dominate your opponent every play / make his ass quit" philosophy. Though Saban was still a couple of years away from taking the reigns at The Capstone, some players clearly understood this mentality and others didn't, which is probably what made 2007 such a difficult year for him. With that being said, enjoy one of my favorite blocks ever: a 5'8", 178 pounder taking out two guys much bigger than him by sheer force of will and an indomitable spirit.