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The Jumbo Package │08.12.14

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Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes.

18 days till the start of the season, folks.

Alabama DBs hoping to build on 'painful' season | The Kansas City Star

"I know those were some painful times that we all had to go through," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "But I think that those guys are more confident and I think they can be more consistent this year. "I think we have the addition of a few young guys that are really talented that are going to be beneficial as well. Last year, we had the most inexperienced group of people in the secondary that we have ever had in terms of playing their position."

I know I've had my reservations about the secondary in 2014, but I've officially joined the "they have to be better than last year" crowd..

It's awfully sunny on this side of the fence..

Freshman Cam Robinson quietly holding strong as Alabama's top option at left tackle | AL.com

He looks better now," center Ryan Kelly said. "He's bending well. He's shooting his hands, he's got really long arms. He's finally learned the playbook. It's everything you want in an offensive tackle. He keeps working hard every day." Throughout camp, the potential uncertainty about Alabama's starting five has centered on right guard while Robinson, who is noticeably leaner than he was during the spring, is being backed up by another true freshman, Ross Pierschbacher.

I know this was discussed yesterday but having two true freshman at 1st and 2nd team left tackle makes my insides crawl. I mean I love to hear that Cam is doing well but that still makes me nervous..Perhaps once Leon Brown and Jackson return healthy our depth improves but man, I don't like the thought of having that much inexperience at the most important offensive line position.

Dallas Cowboys Kicker, Punter & Snapper News | Kickology

"The Cowboys also released rookie punter Cody Mandell on Saturday. Mandell averaged 43.7 yards per punt on three attempts against the Chargers. He also handled some kickoff duty. Garrett said the plan is to add a kicker who can help spell Dan Bailey during the preseason."

I hear he had three punts and at least two were dropped inside the 20. So what's the problem, Jerry?

Decision Day: Nation's No. 2 overall prospect Trent Thompson to choose Alabama, Auburn or Georgia | AL.com

The Georgia Bulldogs have been his leader since his recruitment began and are heavy favorites to land his pledge tonight. Auburn is currently sitting at No. 2 on his list of favorites, although he has been known to rotate schools in and out of that spot. Thompson will announce his commitment tonight around 6 p.m. CST, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rams notebook: Tight end returns to fill roster void : Sports

"It’s been three weeks or so, so it felt good to get out there again, to run some routes and play some football,’’ he said. "When I was released, I went back to Tuscaloosa, that’s where I’m from, and I was coaching high school football. My brother (Chris, who played football at South Carolina and baseball at Alabama) is the head coach at our high school, American Christian Academy, so we were coaching together and having a lot of fun with it. ... And, at the same time, I was working out at Alabama and waiting for a call.’’

Good for Smelley. Hopefully he can stick with the team and make an impact.

Check out which Alabama football legend makes cameo in new Peyton, Eli Manning rap video | AL.com

Joined by a cadre of dancing girls, Jets running back Chris Johnson, Manning patriarch Archie and a certain former Alabama quarterback superstar known for wearing fur coats himself,

That was, well, interesting...

Antoine Walker educates Alabama football team on financial pitfalls | TuscaloosaNews.com

"I ended up losing a majority of my wealth," Walker said. "I ended up losing $110 million. Over my 13-year NBA career I lived a very lavish lifestyle. From cars, jewelry, clothes, family, friends, taking care of a lot of people throughout my career.

So it’s a combination of things that played into it. "I want to be able to share my story now and make sure none of these guys walk in the same path. Whether they’re an athlete or an 8-to-5 businessman, make sure they know their money is their money and to watch it."

I can't even imagine losing that much money. I know Saban has been putting an emphasis on educating our players on how to handle the business side of football once they leave UA. So, hopefully they are paying attention..

Alabama practice report: Updating a few injuries as a starter returns to the first group | AL.com

-- Defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson was in the weight room during practice rehabbing his left knee sprain. -- Safety Geno Smith was dressed out, but didn't appear to be practicing with his knee sprain suffered Saturday.

-- There weren't any changes to the secondary with the first team. Freshmen Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey were with the second group along with Laurence "Hootie" Jones.

With Eddie Jackson out a lot of people felt that Tony Brown and/or Marlon would push for a starting spot. So far, that doesn't seem to be the case. Hopefully that's a good sign that the older guys (Maurice Smith, Sylve, Jones) are playing well enough to stave off the talented freshman.