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The Jumbo Package │12.11.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

First off I'd like to say Happy Birthday to RBR's very own CB969!

Constant motion keeps Alabama's Amari Cooper one step ahead | SI.com

He hasn't let little things bother him, whether it's a little nagging injury or whatever, and has just been kind of a demon every time the game comes in terms of how he competes. And we've used him and featured him, and he certainly has taken advantage of those opportunities.”

Demon you say?

Maybe there is something to Saban's Dark Lord nickname?

Alabama's ex-top recruit Marlon Humphrey explains growth in unexpected redshirt season | AL.com

He said redshirting wasn't necessarily the plan when he arrived, "but coach knows what he's doing, so I have all the faith in him," Humphrey said in the celebratory Georgia Dome locker room. Moving on from that moment involved refocusing on the improving daily in practice. "It wasn't too hard," he said. "Once you get over the fact, it's not too bad."

Former top recruit Da'Shawn Hand reflects on freshman season at Alabama | AL.com

"You really have to try to fail," Hand said. "They really make sure you get your assignments done and you're on top of everything. That's what I like about it. They push you academically and athletically."

Firstly, I'm glad Marlon red-shirted. Bama will have their pick between Cyrus Jones, Eddie Jackson, Tony Brown and now Marlon Humphrey next year and that will certainly help out the safeties who will be inexperienced. Between the pass rush next year, a solid linebacking corps and the talent at CB, the only weak link will be our safeties.

FOOTBALL | ASSISTANT | SALARIES | USA TODAY SPORTS

Bud Foster Total Pay $1,369,500 +833,715 from Previous Year

Maybe VT should throw a little money at their offensive coordinator? (VT ranked 97th in total offense in 2014)

Blake Sims didn't 'listen to the criticism or people doubting what he could do,' says Jay Barker | AL.com

I saw the interview with him and Paul (Finebaum) the other day and Paul started out the conversation with 'I need to apologize to you,'" Barker said. "I thought to myself: Where was mine 20 years ago?"

Barker, who now hosts "The Opening Drive" on WJOX in Birmingham, said criticism comes with the territory of playing quarterback, particularly at a tradition-heavy program like Alabama, and he's admired the composure with which Sims has handled it. "The expectations are so high on you to be perfect," Barker said. "You know that when you sign up. You've got a tradition of excellence that's been set in front you by guys who played before you at that position. You want to live up to it, and you have a fan base that expects you to play for championships, not just to win games. ...

The fans are very critical and the passion of all that is what makes Alabama football so special. "It can be a lot of pressure for an 18- to 22-year old to have to handle, but at the same time you grow up fast. You learn to have thick skin. I think it's something that benefits you for the rest of your life. ... That's why I'm so proud of him, because he's kept his composure through all this."

Sometimes we forget these are 18-22 year old young men (I refuse to call them kids) playing a game. The amount of  pressure fans and the media place on these guys to be elite from their freshman year is unfair and unrealistic. What happened to allowing time for players to develop?

Problem is we know it's unfair and unrealistic yet we do it each and every year. If a guy isn't starting right away or getting playing time (see the conversation about wide receivers in yesterday's JP) the thought is he's a bust. Same goes with the NFL. Rookies are now expected to start from day one and if they aren't pro-bowlers by year two or three they must be overrated and/or a bust (See how everyone is reacting to Dee Milliner).

Blake Sims should have been a Heisman Trophy finalist, ESPN analyst says | AL.com

"If I were filling out a ballot, I'd have Marcus Mariota as my No. 1, and I the other two guys that are in New York would be highly ranked," Matich said. "But I would have a guy in New York that they don't right now. ... That's Blake Sims of Alabama." Matich noted that Sims ranks second nationally, behind only Mariota, in Total Quarterback Rating, a statistic created by ESPN to capture a quarterback's complete effect on a game both as a passer and as a runner, adjusting for factors such as quality of opposition, down and distance, score and other game situations. Mariota's QBR of 91.9 leads the country, with Sims second at 88.4.

Why is this news?: Why Ohio State can beat Alabama, Archie Griffin 'the godfather' of Heisman winners - Land-Grant Holy Land

Ohio State may be the underdog going into the Sugar Bowl, but there are at least five reasons why this year's team might break the Buckeye's SEC losing streak. With big play-makers like Ezekiel Elliott and Joey Bosa on both sides of the ball, a quarterback with very little film to study, Urban Meyer (enough said), and a secondary that has gotten better throughout the season, no one can possibly say the Buckeyes don't at least have the talent to beat Alabama.

I know everyone is picking Bama to win big against tOSU but as always I have my reservations. It's not that I think tOSU is better but I really hope our players can avoid listening to the hype. They've been on a mission since October and I'd hate for them to get a big head now and lose focus on the prize.

NFL Mock Draft 2015: Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston? - Bucs Nation

The question the Bucs will face, assuming they even get the top pick in the draft, is which quarterback takes their fancy? Who will their new offensive coordinator like best? Who will even be their new offensive coordinator?

Unless the Bucs hire the next Chip Kelly, wouldn't the obvious choice be Winston? Maybe I'm crazy but given the fact he (Winston) runs a pro style offense in college and Mariota, well, doesn't, to me there isn't even a debate on who they should take. But If I'm the Eagles I'd do whatever it takes to move up in the draft and snag Mariota.

Bowl Power Rankings: SEC Edition - Team Speed Kills

Let's go back to the last time Nick Saban faced off against Urban Meyer. On October 2, 2010, Alabama beat Florida, 31-6 and Meyer's post-game comments read: "We got beat by a good team. We just didn't play very well."

Yes, let us reflect on the last time Bama faced Meyer.