Saban was upbeat about the offense in general after Tuesday's practice, the Crimson Tide's first in full pads. He spun a question about the progress of redshirt freshman quarterback Cooper Bateman -- who is competing against the likes of Florida State transfer Jacob Coker and senior Blake Sims -- into some strong praise about the Crimson Tide's five quarterbacks and an offense loaded with talent at play-making positions.
"Really, all the quarterbacks in this camp so far have really done well. I think our offense has done pretty well because of that," Saban said. "We make a lot of explosive plays and we're doing a good job of getting the ball in the guys that can make those plays' hands.
"The quarterbacks, they've done a pretty good job of distributing the ball to those guys. I've been pretty pleased with how we've developed on offense. Most of the time, defense is a little bit ahead but it really does seem like our offense has shown a little more maturity."
I think this is the part where Bammer's head explodes because this quote clearly means "OHMAHGAWD, THE DEFENSE IS STRUGGLING."
Assuming the preseason projections are accurate, it's not difficult to envision each of these teams with at least two losses several weeks into the season with sub-par quarterback play.
SEC West Team, Team's Offense (Preseason S&P+), Opponents' Defenses (Preseason S&P+)
'Bama 125.2, WVU (99.8); S. Miss (91.1); UF (127.9); Ole Miss (121.9)
LSU 116.9, Wisconsin (119.6); UL Monroe (94.6); MSU (122.2); N.Mexico St. (73.6)
Texas A&M 129.0, USC (117.9); Rice (100); SMU (98.2); Arkansas (101.4)
Once again assuming the preseason rankings are accurate, LSU appears more vulnerable than the other two teams. Points could be hard to come by against Wisconsin and MSU, and strong defensive efforts will be important. Alabama may be challenged by Florida defensively, but it's biggest threat may come on its starting quarterback's first road game at Ole Miss. Texas A&M's offensive rating seems a bit high, but it probably won't miss a beat in its first month of play except against South Carolina.
Seems that there are a few people out there starting to circle the Ole Miss game. I am really having trouble seeing it.
Watched the offensive line for a bit. Of note: Dominick Jackson, who was spotted working behind Cam Robinson and Brandon Greene at left tackle the previous two days, was back at right guard during the drills we saw. Freshman Ross Pierschbacher stood at the back of the left tackle line while Josh Casher, who'd been spotted at left guard Sunday, was among the players snapping at center.
Looks like the starting five might be starting to come into focus, even at this early stage, as it is looking like Jackson is headed towards right guard, and won't supplant true freshman Cam Robinson at left tackle.
Despite his college career being sidetracked by two serious knee injuries, Alabama defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson has already emerged as one of the Crimson Tide's leaders. So much that, though the redshirt sophomore has just one game to his credit, head coach Nick Saban raved about his character just as much as his ability.
"If everybody on our team was like Dalvin, we wouldn't have many problems, I can tell you that," Saban said. "You're talking about a character guy right there."
Each year here at RBR, many of us like to pick one guy on offense and one guy on defense to by "my boy" - a guy that you expect to blossom and make plays that make you say "That's my boy!"
Last year, Dalvin was my boy. Because he's been sidelined with injury twice now, he's still flying under the radar, but I am still expecting big things from him. A couple things you may not know about him:
Tomlinson became the first wrestler in (Georgia) state history to win three career heavyweight titles in high school. He pinned his opponent in his senior year championship match in a mere 9 seconds. He finished his senior wrestling season 49-0 with a career record of 169-2.
He obviously understands the importance of hand technique, leverage, and should be pretty skilled in those areas.
He also carried a 3.9 GPA in high school and was recruited by Harvard
This kid clearly has a good head on his shoulders.
I'm telling y'all now - keep an eye out for Dalvin Tomlinson. I should know. He's my boy.
After the fumble issues of 2013, backs began using two balls during individual drills starting in the spring. They also use the rope course in practice that's similar to the old tire drill. It takes high knees and balance.
Then they adjust to do it on one leg. It requires exceptional strength and balance to navigate the course with two footballs tucked high and tight.
"It's just a balance drill that coach (Burton) Burns came up with," fullback Jalston Folwer said. "He said he's just been thinking about stuff on the way to work that he wants to try out."
Hopscotch national champions, y'all.
True freshman Josh Frazier is listed at 6-foot-3 and 335 pounds, and he's getting more opportunities with senior Brandon Ivory still on the suspension list.
That's a lot of man.
Nick Saban Press conference Tuesday:
Tuesday practice footage:
Nick Saban on "Numbers Never Lie":