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The Jumbo Package | 10.31.14

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Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

College Football Rankings: SEC Power Poll Finally Has a Unanimous No. 1 - Team Speed Kills

My vote for conference MVP goes to Amari Cooper.  In the two games he's been held to less than 100 receiving yards, Alabama's lost one outright and squeaked past Arkansas in the other.--Get the Picture

[sigh] Alabama's going to win out, beat Mississippi State, represent the SEC West in Atlanta, and render all of this season's crazy happy fun times irrelephant, aren't they?--Rock M Nation

The beneficiaries of social promotion right now in the polls. Throw out the fact they lost to Ole Miss head to head and consider this: the SEC West has five ranked teams and Bama has beaten precisely none of them.--And the Valley Shook

I would expect nothing less from our butthurt Bayou brethren.  He does have a valid point though.  Contrary to what the average Bama fan on the street will tell you right now, there absolutely is cause for concern about  these next three games (Western Carolina isn't a game).

Alabama practice report: Updates on T.J. Yeldon, O-line and more as Tide heads into bye | AL.com

For those worried about Yeldon, here's an encouraging sign. Sophomore Altee Tenpenny wore a No. 7 scout team jersey (Leonard Fournette). Considering that Tenpenny is currently Alabama's second option at running back behind Derrick Henry, that indicates to us there's optimism surrounding Yeldon.

RB Tyren Jones remains suspended. He wasn't on the practice field.

The first-team offensive line has stayed the same since Tuesday. From left to right: Austin Shepherd, Arie Kouandjio, Ryan Kelly, Leon Brown and Grant Hill.

The bit about Tenpenny is certainly a glass-half-full impression, I think.  The more negative way of looking at the situation would be to point out that we don't have a third string running back taking real reps.

Austin Shepherd's never played LT, but he's among Alabama's options to replace Cam Robinson | AL.com

It's not certain Shepherd will make his first career start at left tackle, but it's looking like more of a possibility after the Crimson Tide's three bye week practices. During each media viewing session, Shepherd was seen working at left tackle while sophomore Grant Hill filled his spot on the right side.

Asked Tuesday when he last played left tackle in a game, Shepherd candidly said, "never."

"It's football," Shepherd said. "I've done it since I was six years old, so it's not really any different. I think I've played every position ever since I've been little so I kind of know a little bit about everything. I mean, it's pretty much the same thing just opposite so you've just got to switch it."

Alabama LB Denzel Devall poised to return after his backups played 'winning football' | AL.com

"We want to play all players that can play winning football," Saban said after Tuesday's practice.  "Denzel has played winning football for us. Some of the guys that took his place played winning football. To me, it just adds to the depth and helps more guys to have to play and contribute in a positive way."

Dickson is Alabama's leader in sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (9), and he's been particularly good since Devall went down in the first quarter of Alabama's loss at Ole Miss. Anderson, who came into the season with minimal experience, has at least one tackle for loss in each of the past three games.

"He's stepped up in a big way," defensive end Jonathan Allen said. "You really can't put a limit on what he's done for us. Good fitting the run, pass rusher, driving back in coverage. He's done a lot for us while Denzel's been out."

Mark Ingram shoulders load again for New Orleans Saints | AL.com

It wasn't just what Ingram did against the Panthers - carrying the ball 30 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns - but when he did it. Thursday night's game started in Charlotte about 93 hours after the Saints' game against the Green Bay Packers ended in New Orleans on Sunday night.

Ingram ran 24 times for 172 yards in New Orleans' 44-23 victory over the Packers. Both were career highs for Alabama's 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. For a New Orleans player, Ingram's Sunday performance featured the most carries since Mike Bell had 28 against Detroit on Sept. 13, 2009, and the most rushing yards since Deuce McAllister had 184 against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 23, 2003.

Videos

Practice footage

Austin Shepherd (offensive lineman) interview