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The Jumbo Package | 08.27.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Kevin C. Cox

First things first.  It's still game week, so it must be time for another hype video:

/runs through wall creating hole next to freshly repaired sheetrock

One other thing before we get to the news blurbs.  Each year around these parts, we like to do "that's my boy" selections.  For the uninitiated, the "that's my boy" process is where you pick YOUR guy.  When you and your family are gathered in the living room watching the game and he makes a big play, you cheer a bit louder, and make sure to let everyone in the room know that's your boy and you picked him to blow up this year.

Ground rules - there aren't any.   I mean, this is all for fun, so pick who you want.  General guidelines, though?  I would tend to encourage you to pick a guy that you are hoping is on the edge of a breakout season.  Sure, we could all pick Amari Cooper (and we'd all lose our voices crowing about being right), but there's an extra bit of satisfaction  you get from getting in on the ground floor for some guy's hype.

My selection?  The same as last year - defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson.  Honestly, I wouldn't blame you if your response to that selection is "who?" but this is the year that all changes.  Look for Dalvin's name to be heard a lot this season, as he finally gets a chance to show what he's capable of following two seasons lost to injury.

So let us know who you're picking this year in the comments below.  And be sure to let whoever ends up watching a game with you know - "THAT'S MY BOY."

West Virginia QB Clint Trickett says his 1st kiss was with Nick Saban's daughter |

Asked about his relationship with Alabama coach Nick Saban, Trickett confessed that his first kiss was with Saban's daughter, Kristen.

"His daughter was my first kiss, back in the day," Trickett said, according to a play-by-play of the interview from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "So yeah ... I don't know if I should have said that."


Aw, son.  You should've kept that one to yourself.

West Virginia's 'weird' defense new to Alabama, leads to extra film study |

Using three linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs, it's especially useful against spread teams who play in space. West Virginia will bring it to the Georgia Dome at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against the Crimson Tide.

Under new defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, the Mountaineers have room to improve. The longtime former Penn State assistant inherits a defense that ranked 102nd nationally allowing 454 yards a game. The passing defense was No. 108 and the run stop was No. 91. It allowed 73 points to Baylor after falling behind 56-14 at halftime.

Alabama practice report: O-linemen swap spots and more hints from QB competition |

Saban was quick to mention Jackson when he was asked Monday about Robinson, who is poised to become the first freshman to start in a season opener since 2008.

"We think he can be a really good player," Saban said. "He missed two weeks with a sprained ankle, which sort of limited the competition. Now he's back in practice and Leon (Brown) is back in practice. That helps us depth-wise as to who might be the starters at those positions somewhere down the road."

I think it is safe to say that Jackson is probably our #6 offensive lineman, as he has been practicing at every position except for center so far this fall.

Why more Landon Collins on Alabama's defense will mean less of him on special teams |

Nick Saban rarely tosses out the word "fantastic," but he used it without hesitation Monday when describing Landon Collins' proficience on special teams.

That's what made his understandable decision to limit some of Collins' work on the all-important third phase of the game heading into his highly anticipated junior season tougher to stomach than most.

It's tough.  Landon was fantastic on special teams.  Probably the best Bama has had in quite a while.  I'm kind of surprised to see this talk of pulling Landon from this part of special teams (especially when the recently released depth chart had him listed as a backup kick returner).  We haven't shied away from having star players playing defensive special teams (Dre Kirkpatrick as gunner comes to mind), and I don't think I can remember too many guys getting hurt while playing as the gunner (LSU '11 pt. 1 excepted (when Dre was fouled and sustained a concussion), but that was just a filthy play).

Alabama Crimson Tide's Landon Collins eager for the next chapter - ESPN

Instead of answering questions about his infamous commitment, Collins is now answering for a defense expected to be one the best in the country, despite losing more than half of its starters from last season. On Monday, he talked up rookies, praised the defensive line and assessed the play of another hotly contested recruit, linebacker Reuben Foster. He even answered the tough questions like whether the defense has anything to prove after struggling against hurry-up, no-huddle offenses last season.

His response: "Definitely."

"We've always been known as a defense that's unstoppable [sic]," he said. "You can't run the ball or throw the ball on us. That's how we want to portray our defense like we did in previous years."

Videos (Jumbo version, apparently)

Tuesday practice footage (running backs, offensive line, quarterbacks)

Do your liver a favor, and don't watch the play at 1:35.

Eddie Jackson in practice

Jonathan Allen interview

Reggie Ragland interview

Jalston Fowler interview

Austin Shepherd interview

Landon Collins interview

Amari Cooper interview

Maybe it's just me, but these numbers are getting awfully small, y'all.