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The Jumbo Package │01.06.15

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Your daily dose of Crimson Tide related links and quotes.

It's been fun but I gotta hit the road.

Well ladies and gents, it's been fun. I'm sad to announce that today marks my final day as Roll Bama Roll's manager and I have to say it's bitter sweet. The past two years have had their ups and downs but all in all I feel I'm leaving the site better then when I found it. The truth is RBR deserves someone who is completely devoted to run the best damn Alabama blog on the internet and unfortunately my personal life has grown too hectic and busy to keep up with the pace that Slice and I set two years ago.

I leave with my head high and proud of what we accomplished. I'd like to say thank you to the RBR staff and all those people who supported us over the last few years. We did this thing called blogging because we loved Alabama and Roll 'Bama Roll. It wasn't my calling or desire but when the site was near death, a faithful few stepped up and refused to let it die. It was never about fame or fortune but continuing the legacy of the site.

I'll still be around in the comments stirring the pot occasionally but this will be it for me and RBR, at least when it comes to writing. I do not know who will be taking over as the full-time manager but Erik, Jtad, CB969, and the rest of the RBR crew will continue to produce the high quality content you've come to expect.

If you are interested in putting your name in the hat for a manager spot email Luke Zimmermann and Matt Brown (watch out, they're Buckeyes) at college@sbnation.com with a resume and writing sample(s).

Again, from the bottom of my heart, I say thank you and Roll Tide.

Alabama no longer alone atop college football mountain

Hire a secondary coach.

It's time for Saban to step away from working with the cornerbacks, pull defensive coordinator Kirby Smart off the safeties and invest in a single person to coach defensive backs. Saban and Smart are two of the best at coaching defense, but they each have enough responsibilities. Ohio State has a main defensive coordinator, but also staff a co-defensive coordinator who works with the safeties and a cornerback coach who coordinates special teams. Saban and Smart have preached eye control and body position, but Alabama has repeatedly failed to do both, particularly when defending the deep ball. Maybe Alabama doesn't have great talent back there, which makes it even more imperative to have just one guy coach the secondary and nothing else.

That's a bit of a knee jerk reaction, me thinks. Talent, not coaching, has been the issue at DB the past few seasons but with the guys we have coming up in the ranks, I believe we should be OK in the defensive backfield in the future..

That is if we can figure out who will play safety next year.

What now? 6 stories to follow as Alabama transitions to 2015 after disappointing Sugar Bowl | AL.com

The season didn't end well for the Alabama defensive 11. It allowed an average of 493 yards in the last three games after surrendering 283 in the previous 11 Saturdays. Pass defense was especially suspect, but all five cornerbacks on the depth chart return.

There's also former five-star Marlon Humphrey who redshirted last season. The Tide also has commitments from five-star corners Kendall Sheffield and Minkah Fitzpatrick. There will be a need at safety with Nick Perry graduating and Collins a potential top-10 draft pick. Jarrick Williams, who played the Star position is also graduating, though Geno Smith moved into a more prominent role there.

The quarterback of the defense will also depart with senior Trey DePriest, but there should be talent developing in the middle of the defense. The line will still be deep with nearly everyone expected to return.

With the Bama has been recruiting lately, we should be fine at LB and corner next year (and the next 10 years after that) but again it's safety that has me concerned.

Nick Saban's lessons, leadership are already aimed towards tomorrow | AL.com

"Every choice, every decision, everything that we do every day, we want to be a champion. Everyone take ownership for what they need to do relative to their role, whatever it is, whether it's being a fan, a booster, be a good one. Any kind of supporter that you are for this team, everyone take ownership that we support each other so we can have the best possible football program that Alabama has ever had."

Alabama's No. 2 athletics official reportedly taking AD job at West Virginia | AL.com

Shane Lyons, the deputy director of athletics and chief operating officer, is expected to take the AD job at West Virginia, according to The Charleston Gazette and other local news outlets. Lyons, a graduate of West Virginia, replaced Dave Hart in 2011 when he left for the Tennessee athletics director position.

Can't blame a guy for going home. Good luck to you, Lyons.

Alabama right tackle Austin Shepherd accepts Senior Bowl invite | AL.com

Austin has been a solid starter at right tackle for the Crimson Tide," Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said. "In Mobile, he will get a chance to take reps as an offensive guard, which will show his versatility to NFL scouts." The Senior Bowl will be played on Jan. 24 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on the NFL Network.

Defensive breakdowns cost Alabama in Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State | AL.com

All-American safety Landon Collins was also not in during the touchdown run as he hurt his shoulder in the first half and tried to battle through it in the second. "That's the life of a backup," Perry said. "You've got to practice hard every day just for two plays in the game. We had a freshman and another guy and some stuff like that happens. That's a learning experience and they're going to be better for it."

When Landon went out and Reggie was already out of the game, I turned to my buddy and said "Watch out for those inside runs because..." and then the 85 yard run happened..

Former 5-star recruit Robert Foster candidly talks future with Alabama, frustrations and progress | AL.com

Two years later, the former five-star recruit is still "patiently waiting for my opportunity" at Alabama. After redshirting his first season, Foster caught six passes for 44 yards in limited action last season. Starters DeAndrew White and Christion Jones are graduating and Amari Cooper would be a top-10 pick in the NFL draft if he were to skip his senior season. So there will be ample opportunities for the next crop and Foster put to rest any chatter of a change in venue.

"Yeah, I'm going to be here next year," he told AL.com at Sugar Bowl media day.

With us having to replace basically our entire starting wide receiver corps, I'd hope Foster would be willing to stick it out a few more years.