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The Jumbo Package | 03.24.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Former Alabama QB Greg McElroy - Coming to a television near you?
Former Alabama QB Greg McElroy - Coming to a television near you?

Watch 'phenomenal' Amari Cooper, Christion Jones, Chris Black and Alabama WRs practice |

It was a nice warm afternoon at the last practice before players get a week off for spring break. You can also get a look at Christion Jones (22), Chris Black (5), Raheem Falkins (80), Robert Foster (8), Cam Sims (7) among others.

But the star of the show is Cooper.

"So far this spring, he's been phenomenal in the offseason program as well as in the first three practices that we've had," Saban said Wednesday. "Obviously he's a guy that we want to get the ball to as many times as we can. Lane will do a really good job of getting the ball in the playmakers' hands.

Last preseason, I was calling for Cooper to win the Biletnikoff award for the best wide receiver in the country.  Obviously, due to injury, Cooper fell a good bit short of that last year.  This year, if he can manage to stay healthy all season, I'm willing to consider him one of the favorites for the award.

Watch Nick Saban work with Alabama safeties practicing read-option defense |

'This is a big spring': Alabama's offensive line once again needs new faces to fill multiple spots |

"This is a big spring. A lot of guys rotating, just kind of getting the camaraderie. They had to adjust to it when I came in there, too. The older guys (have) to be understanding that the young guys are still learning, but also demanding if they run with the 1s, that’s how they have to play."

During open viewing periods, which last approximately 20 minutes near the beginning of practice, senior Leon Brown and third-year sophomore Alphonse Taylor have been spotted working alongside these veterans.

Interesting to see that Taylor and Brown might be distinguishing themselves from the pack. I think most had Brown all but written off, so if he manages to land a starting job, that would be pretty impressive.

Michigan looking at Alabama transfer OG Chad Lindsay -

Michigan is evaluating former Alabama offensive guard Chad Lindsay as a potential transfer option, according to a source.

Lindsay is leaving the Tide despite starting four games last season and the chance to enhance that total in 2014.

It's uncertain whether Lindsay will end up in Ann Arbor, but exploring the option makes sense because of offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who left Alabama to lead the Wolverines' offense.

PHOTO: Arkansas' new 'Speedflex' helmets -

The helmet is called the Riddell Speedflex, and if you can't read what the photo says, luckily for you, I can.

"The Speedflex's unique shell design is engineered to disperse energy and reduce the risk of trauma, while Riddell's InSite Player Management Softward alerts the sideline to significant, single or multiple impacts that possess attributes that may result in a possible concussion."

Classic Bert.  Always looking out for player safety.

Greg McElroy to join SEC Network as analyst after former Alabama quarterback retires from NFL |

After three years in the NFL, Greg McElroy faced a decision. He'd spent three years as a reserve with the Jets and Bengals and another opportunity came up. So, on Friday, McElroy announced his retirement from the NFL.

By Monday, he'll be announced as the newest addition to the SEC Network's stable of analysts. The exact details are still being ironed out, but the former Alabama quarterback is signing a long-term deal with the network launching Aug. 14, 2014.

McElroy joins analysts Jesse Palmer and Tim Tebow and commentators Paul Finebaum, Brent Musburger and Joe Tessitore.

I feel like this is the first time that I've realized that Tessitore will be a part of this.  Color me unnerved.  If anyone isn't familiar with the Tessitore Effect, prepare yourself.  In the past three or four years, it seems nothing has been as constant as Tess's uncanny ability to will chaos on the games he calls.  Fourth quarter comebacks and upsets abound when Tess is in the booth, and I would be perfectly content if he never calls a Bama game.

Practice Footage