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Jumbo Package: Saban suggests offensive line still a work in progress

The Tide took Monday off, and Brent accidentally took today off.

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Alabama
The big man is the Big Man on Campus this week
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry we’re late. Some of us decided to accidentally play grown up today and forgot it was Brent’s their turn to do the J.P. Anyway, I’ll make this quick and dirty:

Mailbag: Why LSU-Auburn could cost Les Miles or Gus Malzahn his job | FOX Sports

Miles is obviously under more intense and immediate pressure than Malzahn given the fact his athletic director tried to fire him last year. The primary expectations for LSU coming into this season were A) Miles’ offense and quarterback play finally improve and B) the Tigers contend for the College Football Playoff. If LSU loses its second game before the end of September, the second goal is all but shot. As for the former, I find it hard to imagine QB Danny Etling throws for four touchdowns in the defeat.

I actually agree with this one, namely because Gus Malzahn is so very fired. Short of winning the trifecta against Ole Miss, Alabama and Georgia, there is practically nothing that will keep him on the Plains — even that $13m buyout.

Allen's return to school 'a good business decision'

Allen elected to return to Tuscaloosa for his senior season following the Crimson Tide’s fourth national championship in seven years, something head coach Nick Saban called “a good business decision.” “I think the fact that he was injured and it was going to be tough for him to be ready to work out,” Saban said. “Based on the grade that he got from the junior committee, made a good business decision. The fact that there was, I think, maybe 12 defensive linemen or something like that in the first two rounds -- don’t quote me on that, I’m not an NFL guy now that keeps up with all that stuff. It was kind of overloaded at the position and heavy at the position. “He made a good decision, and he could be one of the top guys this year at his position.”

Coachspeak: Allen could have been a first rounder last year, but, with a thinner DL draft class in 2017, he will be this year.

One-on-One with Bradley Bozeman

The all-utility man on the offensive line does a one-one-one. A very nice little interview for an oft-forgotten guy.

Sims ready to step up in receiving corps with Stewart questionable - The Crimson White

As of Monday, Alabama coach Nick Saban said Stewart is the biggest question mark for the team’s game against Kent State on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Sims’ departure would leave a void in Alabama’s receiving core, too.

“Robert [Foster] will play some, but the guy that’s been playing really well for us is Cam Sims, so would be play him as well,” Saban said. “And there will be an opportunity for some other to play.” Along with Sims and Foster, Saban is looking in true freshman Trevon Diggs’ direction. Diggs has been practicing on both sides of the ball, but Saban plans to focus on offense with him this week.

Regardless of who is picked, Sims is prepared to step up and share more playing time with starting wide receiver Calvin Ridley, just as Stewart has been doing. Stewart has some big shoes to fill, though. When he wasn’t hauling in receptions, he’d be blocking downfield, which Sims knows is something he’ll have to do and has been paying attention to.

Both Foster and Sims have battled injuries to see the field. They’re both burners, but Sims’ size is just an advantage you have to exploit, particularly near the goal line.

Into Focus: ESPN's Chris Fowler wants to call games and take pictures of animals -

We just sort of accept ESPN's Chris Fowler as ubiquitous in the college football world, but his own view of his place as the voice of the sport, first hosting College GameDay and now focusing on play-by-play, is an interesting one. Can he separate himself from big moments? How much thought does he put into what he says in big moments and how much does he measure his words, knowing that each syllable can be misinterpreted by a fast-moving world, especially on social media platforms?

I love Chris Fowler, the sonorous, senior cerebral voice of college football now that John Saunders has passed away. This is a good interview from the Mothership.

6 things we didn't see coming in Alabama's first 3 games |

5. Penalties It's hard to be too surprised by penalty issues early in the season. But it was not a problem in the opening game when you'd expect the most growing pains. And the variety of flags is of note. Alabama's been hit with false starts 10 times in the past two games -- five each against WKU and Ole Miss. Junior Cam Robinson was guilty three times. Everyone on the line but Ross Pierschbacher has at least one penalty so far. Noisy conditions at Ole Miss certainly added to the five-yard flags for the line last week, but that wasn't the case a week earlier in Bryant-Denny Stadium. "We're still not totally satisfied with the inside three guys and how they play together," Saban said Monday. "We're going to continue to have competition at those positions."

The interesting part here isn’t the number of penalties that have been racked up, it was Saban’s suggestion on Monday that positions on the offensive line are still up for grabs.

Week 4 in the SEC: What to watch for

Time for Alabama to take a back seat. With the No. 1 team in the country playing Kent State at home on Saturday, it's the rest of the SEC's turn to make a statement.

There are a ton of great games (or at least very important games) this weekend in the SEC that do not involve Alabama: Ole Miss - UGA, LSU - Auburn, Texas A&M - Arkansas, Florida - Tennessee. This is a fantastic weekend to channel surf.

Nick Saban understands the power of protest and so should you |

Saban saw the gunshot wounds of victims after the massacre. Four were killed and nine were wounded. The average distance of the students killed from the guardsmen who fired upon them was 345 feet. To this day, it remains unclear why the Ohio Army National Guard started shooting. "So, nobody could ever quite figure out how that happened," Saban said. "It seemed pretty unnecessary, but I had class with one of the students that were killed, Allison Krause. I didn't know her or anything that well, but it was a pretty chilling experience and something that makes you view things a little bit differently.

This is part of a two-minute segment from Monday’s press conference, where Saban talks about Kent State, the power of protest, and the intersection of larger issues on college campuses. As you can imagine, the Eye Ell Dot Com comments are a dumpster fire. That said, let’s not have ours turn that way.