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The Jumbo Package | 08.28.13

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes

Freshman Derrick Henry
Freshman Derrick Henry
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech LB Jack Tyler: Hokies are 'a dog that's ready to pounce' |

"I don't think anybody's really intimidated," he said. "Football is football. I think everybody's here for a reason. They all wanted to play prime-time college football and that's what this game is going to be. Everyone's excited. I don't think I really see intimidation in anyone's eyes. I think I see a dog that's ready to pounce and to win a game."

That said, Tyler knows who the favorite will be in Saturday's Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta, as he noted when a reported asked a follow-up question: "What kind of dog?"

"I was going to say a small dog," Tyler said, "but I didn't want to make us sound too weak."

The first quote is the one that people are going to run with, but that last bit is incredibly telling. These guys know the score coming into the game. There's not a lot else they can say at this point. My only recommendation is that they may want to bring some chew toys, as I suspect the game might be a bit boring on their side of the field in the second half.

How does Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas prepare for Alabama? He cites Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton |

"They took what the defense gave them, but a lot of Texas A&M's big plays were just (quarterback) Johnny Manziel making plays with his feet and finding an open receiver," Thomas said. "Two of their last three losses were against scrambling quarterbacks in Johnny and (former Auburn quarterback) Cam Newton, and those guys being able to make plays down field with things broke down.

"You've just got to stay within the framework and if things do breakdown just use your God given ability to do what you can."

To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen... Logan, I watched Manziel/Newton. I suffered at the hand of Manziel/Newton. You, sir, are no Manziel/Newton.

VT's Beamer doesn't see a hole in the Tide |

It could have been a classic coaching maneuver, praising the opponent into a false sense of security, but Beamer sounded downright resigned to defeat during a roughly 20-minute teleconference on Monday. He was asked whether he had found any area of Alabama's game he felt the Hokies could exploit, and he said there was none to be had, going so far as to praise Alabama's punter, Cody Mandell, rattling off his 44.3 yards per punt average from a season ago.

"I don't think they have a weakness," he explained. "They're just as solid as the day is long."

I love that Beamer's instinct is to focus on how well our punter performs.


5 takeaways from Alabama's 1st official 2013 depth chart |

3) Cade Foster will likely hold the bulk of Alabama's kicking responsibilities.

-- There was no "OR" included on the kicking section of Alabama's depth chart. Senior Cade Foster is first and redshirt freshman Adam Griffith is second. That's different from last year, when it was listed as Foster -OR- Jeremy Shelley. There was also an extra category on last year's for kickoffs, which was exclusively reserved for Foster. Saban has liked what he's seen from both kickers throughout the preseason and he's yet to say anything remotely negative about either player. There was incentive to keep Griffith away from the field last year, but that has vanished in 2013. He'll be using a year of eligibility no matter how little he kicks. That's why it's safe to conclude that Foster will at least hold two of the three responsibilities -- kickoffs, long field goals and short field goals -- against Virginia Tech, but his margin for error will be slimmer than last season.

Interesting observation here. In all the hullabaloo about Kenyan Drake not being on the depth chart, I think most of us overlooked the fact that it seems that Cade Foster may indeed be graduating on to become our full time kicker at all ranges. Even if Cade is given that role, though, I suspect he'll be on a mighty short leash.

The no-huddle craze: College football defenses play catch-up and even practice fake injuries |

"No one is talking about this, but look for more fake injuries by the defense," ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said. "I've talked to defensive coaches. These guys are actually practicing faking injuries in practice."

I'm on record as a supporter of this tactic. I think it is just as viable a quasi-legal strategy as the hurry up no huddle that it counteracts.

PHOTO: the Backstreet Boys visit Alabama's weight room | CBS Sports

The best response regarding the visit:

Seriously. Why the deuce were they at Bama? And why were people reporting on it?

Nation's top recruit Cameron Robinson set to choose between Alabama and LSU on Friday |

This is a big one. Robinson would be a huge get, and all indications at this point are that he'll be rolling with the Tide in February. Hope for the best, and we'll be sure to let you guys know the results of that announcement on Friday.

**Practice Report**

Couple of items of note from yesterday's practice. When first string running back T.J. Yeldon swapped out, true freshman Derrick Henry was the first guy to replace him. You may recall that Jalston Fowler was listed as the number two running back in the just-released depth chart, but during these practice reps, Jalston stayed at the H-back position. Look for Henry to get a decent number of carries this Saturday, as we test his game-readiness in a relatively low-risk situation.

Saban will be hold a press conference tomorrow following the team's practice.



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