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The Jumbo Package │09.02.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes.

Did I hear someone say the QB battle was over?
Did I hear someone say the QB battle was over?
RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Power Poll 2014: First Rankings Have Georgia Bulldogs at No. 1, Auburn Tigers at No. 2 - Team Speed Kills

Saban and Smart continue to struggle with defending the hurry up no huddle, and I came away convinced that a team that executes it better and has better athletes than West Virginia could have ruined the Tide's opener. Not coincidentally such a team exists southwest of Tuscaloosa just west of the Georgia line.--Dawg Sports

West Virginia kept it closer than Tide fans would've liked, but the production was there for all to see. Get your Lane Kiffin jokes in while you still can, y'all.--Rock M Nation

538 yards, but only 33 points against last season's 99th-ranked scoring defense, and Nick Saban tells us we need to "fess up" about Junior's greatness.--Get the Picture

Let the narrative continue. After a single game and after a day where no one looked particularly good, Alabama has taken most the heat as being "overrated". This is unknown territory but I kind of like Alabama being the underdog..

Nick Saban says Alabama would've had 'a lot more issues' if Lane Kiffin weren't on sidelines |

"I think if he wasn't on the sidelines, we would have had a lot more issues, maybe more issues than we could overcome to be successful in the game," Saban said at his Monday press conference. "We did a really good job of managing (quarterback Blake Sims) and helped him manage the game as much as you could ever do it. I don't think anybody could have done that had he been in the press box."

Emphasis mine..

I can't tell if I should be encouraged or discouraged by this comment....

Alabama QBs Blake Sims, Jacob Coker listed as co-starters after West Virginia win - College Football -

Quarterbacks Blake Sims and Jacob Coker are listed as co-starters on the depth chart Alabama released Monday following Saturday's 10-point win over West Virginia. Sims and Coker were also listed as co-starters last week. Sims completed 24 of 33 passes for 250 yards against the Mountaineers, while Coker did not attempt a pass.

For anyone who thinks the QB battle is over..

Alabama starting DB to miss four weeks with a broken foot, Eddie Jackson cleared to play |

Eddie Jackson will begin taking reps after being cleared to play by team doctors following his spring knee injury. "(Jackson) thinks he can play, thinks he's ready to play, thinks he's ready to go. Doc's cleared him to go so we just ... haven't invested the reps with him with the ones and the twos," Saban said.

I bet Sylve starts this week against FAU but Jackson is the starter by Florida.

Is Alabama Losing Its Edge? |

In other words, defenses are having to square off against the best offenses in the country without their best on the field. Defensive coordinators do not have enough time to think clearly about what defense gives them the best chance to stop the offense, and it is for this reason that offensive numbers have skyrocketed. Offenses are running more plays, gaining more yards, and scoring more points than they did even a few years ago.

The times have changed, but Saban has refused to change to this point. It belies common sense to refuse to adapt to other strategies that have proven to be more efficient, but it is also not correct to second guess a guy with the track record that Saban has.

He is not perfect, and if he continues to refuse change, he is going to continue to be dominated by up-tempo offenses.

Here we go again, Alabama can't stop the HUNH. blah blah blah..

Never mind that Alabama held Auburn to their 2nd lowest yards-per-play total all season...

Never mind that OU completely changed their offense before the bowl game and it took us some time to adjust and in the 2nd half held the OU to just seven points (before a garbage time TD)

Never mind we held WVU to less than 400 total yards and the defense only allowed one touchdown.

Never mind our defense dominated the Ole Miss offense and held them to zero points..

Disregarding all this...Sure, Alabama can't stop the HUNH offense.

Reuben Foster, Reggie Ragland 'ruffled' early in starting debuts on tough day for Alabama LBs |

"Even though we tried to make it simple, they did a few different formations and things and sort of got their composure a little bit ruffled," Saban said. "And I think that affected everybody around them." The good news for Alabama? Saban said the two settled in as the game progressed and West Virginia eventually reined in its fastball offense. Foster had the highlight of the day for the middle linebackers when he stopped Mountaineer running back Rushel Shell for a two-yard loss in the third quarter.

"This is probably the toughest situation for new players with no experience as a signal caller, trying to go out there and try and make those kind of adjustments in a game," Saban said. "They are all going to benefit tremendously from that experience, which is probably the most important thing."

AJ McCarron likes what he sees in new Alabama starter Blake Sims |

"I try to tell him to play smart," McCarron said. "I can tell you, I’m like a big brother to him, he’s always looked up to me and it’s an honor to do that. When he listens to me, he zones in and literally takes in every word. He really cares, really listens, and I just told him play within yourself."


These are the types of things that sound better coming from the little brother, AJ.

Alabama practice report: Tide moves forward without 2 key starters |

-- Geno Smith and Maurice Smith are going to see their reps increase most during Williams' absence. Geno Smith, who played a number of snaps at safety Saturday, was Alabama's starting Star by the end of his freshman season while Maurice Smith worked as the second-team Star throughout the preseason.

Expect more Kenyan Drake in Alabama's offensive plans moving forward |

Saban said Monday that Drake will probably be used more in "special situations," which didn't present themselves much against the Mountaineers.