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The Jumbo Package │08.04.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

Watch Alabama fans shamelessly sprinting for Nick Saban’s autograph | For The Win

You will chuckle at first. That chuckle will fade into a small grin. That grin will turn into a slight grimace. Finally, the grimace will be replaced with a cold sense of dread creeping up your spine when you realize that functioning members of society are running over each other like its a zombie apocalypse. But there isn’t a zombie apocalypse. There’s just a 62-year-old football coach with a pen.

That summed up my thoughts exactly. It's sad, not really that funny and quite honestly an embarrassment to the University and the fan base...

That's all I have to say about that..

Book Review: 'My Conference Can Beat Your Conference,' By Paul Finebaum and Gene Wojciechowski - Team Speed Kills

This being Finebaum, there are also plenty of #HOTTAKES tucked into the book's pages. He ranks all 14 SEC schools based on "a martini mix of tradition, facilities, media exposure, recruiting, ability to win consistently, coaching, stability and the IT Factor" -- a method that allows him quite a bit of latitude and seems almost designed to spark arguments. He maintains that Sylvester Croom should have been hired as Alabama's head coach in 2003. Finebaum will "go to [his] grave knowing [Nick Saban's] 2010 team was the best team in the country, even though it lost to South Carolina and Auburn."

But Finebaum doesn't even allow for questions of luck to come in when assessing Mark Richt's lack of national titles at Georgia. Overall, "My Conference Can Beat Your Conference" is a funny, breezy and entertaining read. It might even give you a great respect for Finebaum; it might even convince you to like him. Unless you're Tammy, of course.

Respect and like Finebaum? Not a chance in hell.

Notebook: Saban brings in speaker on domestic violence

"We teach our players they should not evaluate the circumstances of someone else in terms of how they treat them," Saban said. "Every person should be treated with the kind of respect you would like to be treated with regardless of their station, anyone from whoever cleans the building, cleans the locker room, to whoever the president of the university is. The right way to treat all those people is the right way. There is not some other way. "I think the message is very effective that we had the other night, and we continue to support that in terms of the kind of respect we want our players to show other people."

Kiffin promises 'very small' changes in Tide offense - The Anniston Star: Sports

On the perimeter, Kiffin has junior wide receiver Amari Cooper, who hopes to rebound from an injury-plagued sophomore campaign. Like Yeldon, Kiffin said Cooper doesn’t say much, but just goes to work every day. "We would have workouts when I first got here, and Amari sometimes would work out two hours before the workout started," Kiffin said. "I thought it was a really hard workout we were doing – the Fourth Quarter program that we do here – but he worked out two hours before that.

So Amari, we were joking yesterday, myself and Christion Jones, about some off-field stuff, and what you realize about Amari is there really isn’t any off-field stuff. Amari is completely dedicated to being the best football player that he can. "He’s completely focused, so he’s great to work with. He wants to be great, and he also wants to expand his game. He comes in and asks questions about how you move around and how do you get to these spots. He’s been great to work with."

Love it. If TJ and Cooper are working this hard and setting the example for the younger guys, I'm fairly confident we won't have any of the same mental issues we had in 2013..

Lane Kiffin says he's 'fortunate' for job with Alabama Crimson Tide - ESPN

"As you make mistakes, the No. 1 thing is you learn from them and not make excuses," he said. "I've made more than anybody, probably. "To be able to go [through] what I've gone through and still be fortunate before the age of 40 to be here and be an offensive coordinator with Coach Saban at Alabama, you take some time to reflect on that." Kiffin said he had other opportunities than Alabama. "This was an opportunity that came about that was easy for me," he said.

"There were some conversations about being an assistant coach in the NFL that I was going over. "I can't imagine a better place in college or the NFL to go to learn from someone who has been so successful and teaches his coaches."

Nick Saban says 'the time is now to resurrect the identity of the Alabama football program' |

"The time is now in terms of everything you've done all year long to develop the kind of leadership that you'd like to develop on your team, that players put the team first, that people buy into the things that they have to do to develop the respect and trust of their teammates so that you can really become a team," Saban said. "That's something that just doesn't happen in a day.

"I would say after a couple of days of practice, the things I would comment about would be a lot of players on our team understand this but a lot of players need to continue to understand and develop the ability to have the kind of mental intensity that it takes to execute, understand what their job is, how to do their job fundamentally so that they have an opportunity to be successful."

I find it interesting that after just one season of struggling with entitlement issues, Saban feels we need to "resurrect the identity of Alabama football". But is he talking just in terms of mental toughness or more the style of play?

Trey DePriest will likely sit out of practice

"There will be a couple of players that may not practice today that have very, very minor injuries. ... These are one-to-two day type things," Saban said. "They're not things of significance."

While the inside linebackers don't have a lot of experienced depth, there is another position Smart thinks could see significant improvement from last season: the defensive line. "We think it could be a strength to the team," Smart said. Having Dalvin Tomlinson and D.J. Pettway back in the fold helps that, as does sophomores A'Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen gaining playing time a season ago. There are also freshmen that could potentially see some early playing time in Da'Shawn Hand and Josh Frazier. If Brandon Ivory and Jarran Reed can come back from suspensions, they could bolster Smart's beliefs and give Alabama a deep bench of defensive linemen

I'll have more up in a bit on Smart's comments regarding the over-all defense but he seems to like what he's seen so far from a depth standpoint on the DL.

Nick Saban offers early evaluation of Jacob Coker, notes rapid improvement early in camp |

"I see a guy who certainly has raw talent, but I also have seen a little bit of apprehension," Saban said. "He's a very conscientious guy, he wants to do things right in terms of knowledge and understanding systematically the offense, making the right decisions, getting the ball to the right place. We're encouraged by what he's done. We're not disappointed at all.

Really good write up on Jacob's (Jake?) first two practices. By no means does this shed any light on whether or not he'll be the stater cause Saban had similar comments on Sims.

Blake Sims unfazed by Alabama QB competition spotlight, doing 'extremely well' in camp |

One sloppy performance by Sims at A-Day may have altered the opinions of thousands of Alabama fans, but it hasn't hurt the confidence he's developed with his teammates.

"I don't think he gets the credit he deserves," center Ryan Kelly said. "He's been a great competitor since he's been here. I don't think the spring game really did him justice for how well he played in the spring. "He's kind of stepped into a leadership role that nobody really asked him to do but that's the kind of guy he is. He's had a great offseason and he's even brought it to camp."

After reading Saban's and Ryan's comments, I still hold to the belief that Sims is in the lead to start against WVU and that Coker will have to do more than "just be better" to win the starting job. Be better at what exactly? Throwing the football? Sure but if Sims plays like he did in Spring scrimmages, and Coker continues to improve, what will be the deciding factor? Cause until the bullets are real the staff will have no idea how the two players will react.