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Jumbo Package: Let the NFL Pros Take Into Us The Weekend

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Today we check in on some pros, including Lacy and Cooper, Trent (with some bad news,) and listen to foes (past and present) talk about the Tide.

Cleared to play. Other Tide pros (cough, Trent) not so much.
Cleared to play. Other Tide pros (cough, Trent) not so much.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Going to try to post this on a Friday afternoon to give you all something to talk about over the weekend. There's a lot in here, so pick one and dispense #takes.

Pro updates

Eddie Lacy rides a bike to work, sharpens 'shifty part' of his game | AL.com

Lacy liked the way things went at the Packers' first practice. "Individually, I like where I am at," Lacy said after practice. "And on offense, I love where we are at. I thought everything looked good for a first practice." While Lacy thrives on contact, he said the early training-camp practices, when the players aren't in pads, still are beneficial. "It allows me to work on the shifty part of it, like one-cut runs or jump cuts backward," Lacy said. "It allows me to get that feel."

Lacy seems optimistic about the Pack this year, and, TBH, he should. There would be a certain neat symmetry to winning the 1st and the 50th Super Bowl.

C.J. Mosley 'fully cleared for everything' as Baltimore Ravens open training camp | AL.com

Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley practiced without restrictions as the Baltimore Ravens held their first training-camp practice on Thursday at the Under Armour Performance Center in Ownings Mills, Md. The two-time Alabama All-American had no restrictions during the Ravens' opening practice, although he did wear a protective plastic cast on his left hand. Mosley hurt his left wrist during his inaugural NFL campaign and had surgery in the offseason.

CJ is also on the mend, and has been cleared for contact going into camp. That's a relief, we wouldn't want him to have to use medical marijuana in a hotel room again (wink)

Trent Richardson and Rod Streater sent to NFI List, Stacy McGee and Trindon Holiday to PUP - Silver And Black Pride

The Raiders have not specified why Trent Richardson and Rod Streater were put on the NFI list as of yet. Any of the four players can be activated again at any time before the season starts if they have recovered from their injuries. It is specifically not a good start to the Trent Richardson era in Oakland, as pointed out by NFL.com.

Welp, not a good start for Trent. While he won't count against the roster numbers, thus won't have to be cut, he won't be getting paid either. Not a good start for his redemption tour.

Raiders rookie WR Amari Cooper: "I don't really feel any pressure to deliver" - Silver And Black Pride

Q: What are your thoughts going into camp? Cooper:" I'm just going to take it day by day and try to get better day by day, taking advantage of every moment while I'm out on the field." Q: Is there somebody you go to for advice when it comes to football? Cooper: "Not really."

LOL. He's not hurting for confidence, that's for sure. Go check out that interview. He praises Carr a ton, as well as the mini-camp where he had the chance to try to develop rapport in the offseason.

Charitable (and otherwise) quotes about the Tide

Missouri 'got caught up in the moment' in 42-13 SEC title game beating from Alabama | AL.com

"I think last year, we just got caught up in the moment," Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk said at SEC Media Days. We didn't play consistent. We didn't do what we had to do to win the football game."

That was a shellacking, where Mizzou was utterly toyed with for the second half but, okay, it was just "caught up in the moment." If that's true, then Pinkel needs to sit some of these guys. You don't play an SEC Title Game to rubberneck and get autographs.

Wisconsin players confident ahead of Alabama game

"Who's to say we can't beat Alabama?" Clement said. "They proved they can be beat. This conference can play with the best of them. I think (Ohio State's Sugar Bowl win) kind of gave Alabama a wake-up call."

A team returning practically no one on either side of the line, against the best front seven in football...that's who to say Wisconsin can't beat Alabama. That "wake up call" Corey Clement cites also works in an inverse manner...you don't want an angry, hungry Alabama team, Badgers.

ESPN's Rece Davis shares thoughts on Alabama, Auburn | AL.com

"I think Jake Coker has a tremendous amount of talent but he hasn't been able to put it together yet," Davis said. "The one thing I'm not concerned at all about is Jeremy Johnson at Auburn. I think Jeremy is a tremendous talent.

I want to see Johnson in a 12-game grinder before I anoint him the "next big thing." Also, call me a h8r, but I see a steep drop off in the offensive line, and what makes that offense tick, and forever shall, is the running game.

What's it like playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium? We asked 7 SEC players to share their experience | AL.com

"It was intense, good atmosphere. It was a good game. Their fans are really straight football, football, football so it was a good spot to play. I'm glad I got to play there at least once." Jonathan Bullard, Florida sophomore defensive end (lost 42-21 at Alabama in 2014.)"

Really nice quotes from opponents after playing in BDS. The Florida guys have a deep sense of respect and seemed to generally enjoy it.

So, so shady

How Alabama's cost-of-attendance scholarship jumped 39 percent | AL.com

The cost-of-attendance gap rose 20.5 percent for in-state athletes and 39.2 percent for out-of-state students. That accounts for the stipends that will pay in-state athletes $4,172 and $5,386 for those from outside the state. Figures are determined by the school's financial aid office. Previous estimates placed Alabama's cost of attendance at $2,892, but that the actual number for out-of-state athletes is 86 percent higher. The $5,386 out-of-state figure is believed to be the third-highest in the nation behind Tennessee ($5,666) and Auburn ($5,586).

Yup, this stuff is absolutely being gamed or is certainly ripe to do so. The formula being used by Alabama includes an almost 80% adjustment per year for transportation costs, along with other added goodies (20% increase in "miscellaneous" etc.) that bear little rational relationship to actual costs of attendance. Ostensibly, these are travel costs for out of state students, but if you can't make two road trips to Atlanta for under $3,600 a year, there's a bigger issue.

Yet, this is now the formula that is distributed for not just athletes, but to all prospective students. You can absolutely bet every other school will find some, or is finding, some justifiable "cost of attendance." And, it hurt athletics and it hurts students

My problem is, and remains, one that Saban had in May. As usual, he articulates a bit better than I do as far as competitiveness goes:

"To do it the way we did it is going to be a nightmare," Saban said before a Crimson Caravan stop in Atlanta in May. "We've spent 100 years in the NCAA trying to make everything equal — so no extra benefits, nobody could get something that somebody else couldn't get. Alright. Now you leave it up to the institution, and I think some people have manipulated their numbers because they've significantly changed from last year to this year, and that's not the spirit of the rule

Moreover, when discussing the actual screwjob this puts to non-SAs, it's tremendous.

"Everybody has historically from an academic standpoint tried to keep the cost of attendance down. It's a benefit to the students. It's a benefit to their scholarships. Now all of a sudden it's going to be different, and I don't think that's good."

Preach.