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Jumbo Package: Monday, 18 April 2016

Your daily dose of news and notes...

Maybe he's just ornery because the cleaners didn't have his pink blazer ready in time.
Maybe he's just ornery because the cleaners didn't have his pink blazer ready in time.
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. We have plenty of reading material for you as spring practice wraps up:

Nick Saban challenges veteran Alabama OL to lose weight

"He's going to continue to be on the second team if he doesn't get his weight down and get in shape," Saban said. "Would he be a better first-teamer with all the experience he has?"

Based on Saban's words, the job is still open for Taylor to earn if he changes his diet and sheds a few pounds.

We were wondering all spring about Shank's demotion in favor of a freshman. Now we know. Look for him to get it together and re-claim his position in the fall.

Harris named MVP with 114-yard day

The Crimson team offensive line was Kirven, Cotton, Pierschbacher, Brandon Kennedy (right guard) and Jonah Williams (right tackle). The unit is far from settled and Saban highlighted that in his post-scrimmage remarks.

"Lester Cotton would have probably played right tackle better than the right tackle today, but we're trying to develop him as a guard because we think that's where he's going to end up playing next year," Saban said.

Great game for Harris, but the comments on the OL are interesting. If Cotton is a better RT right now than Jonah Williams but will likely play OG next season, does that mean that Cotton plays RT in the fall? If so, then who plays LG? Or, does that mean that we will deal with having a slightly weaker player at RT in order to load up the left side of the line, as they seemingly did last season? This will be among the more interesting storylines in August.

Alabama Football Preview: What Went Wrong This Spring -

The dominant offensive front that paved the way for Derrick Henry’s Heisman season was a shadow of its former self throughout the offseason. It’ll be better and stronger once Cam Robinson returns from a shoulder injury, but it wasn’t easy for the rebuilding offense to come remotely close to holding its own against the dominant Tide D with a patchwork line. Ross Pierschbacher is the one returning starter who saw a ton of time in the spring game, but is he going to stay at center or will he go back to guard

More on the OL here. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Pierschbacher move will stick. Saban likes having a veteran presence in the middle when possible.

Alabama Football Preview: What Went Right This Spring -

Jonathan Allen’s return for his senior year gives the line a veteran star to build around, and a tough pass rusher with the bulk to be the ideal 3-4 versatile presence on one side. On the other former star recruit Da’Shawn Hand had moments when he looked like he’s ready to become the next big thing. All the tools are in place to be special – don’t expect any sort of a drop-off after losing Reed.

Two young outside linebackers stand out during Alabama spring game |

Miller, a redshirt sophomore in line to contribute as a situational pass rusher at the very least, had four tackles, the three sacks and two additional quarterback hurries. Jennings, a redshirt freshman from Dadeville, posted six tackles and, like Miller, three sacks. Both were on the Crimson team, which consisted of the first-team offense and second-team defense

Jennings is a guy I have mentioned on a couple of occasions as someone who seems to get lost in the media shuffle. He has bulked up to near 270 pounds and was seen playing some SDE with Christian Miller playing Jack on the other side. Look for him to move to DE and work into the rotation as a pass rush specialist, similar to the role that Hand played last season.

14 things you might not have noticed in Alabama's A-Day game |

-- ESPN cameras didn't catch Saban hammering away on the offensive coaches on the White (second team) late in the first half. It was hard to tell what the exact beef was, but they were getting the business a few times.

-- If there was a theme to Adam Griffith's kicks, it was missing them left. The first one appeared to hook and two others drifted while contending with a steady wind.

-- Saban also wasn't happy with some of the discipline penalties on both offenses. Scarbrough moved early twice and left guard Lester Cotton got one deep in his own territory in the third quarter.

It was your typical A-Day: Saban was mad at everyone.

Alabama football player fighting eye-eating amoeba |

Last Monday, or only six days before his first A-Day game, Ryan's vision in his left eye had deteriorated to the point of legal blindness. He had been battling the amoeba in his left eye for months, and suddenly the amoeba seemed to be winning.

How bad?

Ryan's father was there in the doctor's office in Birmingham when his son couldn't read the first letter on the eye chart.

"But that's not it," Butch Parris said. "So, after he couldn't read any of the chart, the technician put her hand up in front of his face about two feet."

Wow. Certainly hope Ryan is able to beat this. We will be rooting for him.

Other stuff:

Former Alabama QB Greg McElroy doesn't want his NCAA Football settlement check |

In a five-part Twitter discussion, McElroy that he didn't care if EA Sports used his likeness as the exposure of being in the game was worth more than the actual check he received. The former Tide quarterback ended his argument by saying, "Not to mention, playing as yourself in a game is priceless. Current players deserve that experience, too. Bring back NCAA Football!"

I think lots of folks would love to have the game back.

Alabama gymnastics finishes third in close NCAA championship Super Six |

The balance beam has been an occasional adventure for Alabama's No. 4 gymnastics program. That was where it finished Saturday night's NCAA Super Six finals. A strong finish and the night's biggest score was enough to push the Crimson Tide into third with a 197.4375. Oklahoma won the title with a 197.675 and LSU was second with a 197.450.

While I'm sure the ladies would have preferred to win the whole thing, #3 nationally is quite an accomplishment.

No. 4 Alabama splits DH, coach ejected and McCleney leaves game after collision |

A six-game SEC winning streak ended Saturday night as Alabama split a doubleheader at No. 15 Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide took the first game 8-7 before dropping the second one 14-1. Alabama coach Patrick Murphy was ejected after the first game for arguing a home run call on a ball that hit the top of the centerfield wall.

Get after 'em, coach.

Alabama wins SEC Women's Golf Championship

The top-ranked Alabama women's golf team won the 2016 SEC Women's Golf Championship Sunday with a three-day total of 5-under 859 here at Greystone's Legacy Course.

This is the third SEC title in school history, the first two coming in 2010 and 2013. Roll Tide, ladies.

Last but not least, the baseball team had a good weekend, taking two of three from #8 Ole Miss. Roger will have more for you on that later.

That's about it for today. Have a great week, everyone.