clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jumbo Package: Ben Davis to OLB? Hurts learning consistency. Stealing Ole Miss’ passing concepts

In hiring Ole Miss’ Dan Werner, Saban shows he remains committed to learning from those teams that give him trouble

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama
How do you replace Ryan Anderson?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry this is scant and late: I thought today was Friday, and scheduled a meeting for 8:00. On to the show.

Nick Saban: 'Do I really need to tell anybody the issues we've had with them?'

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. That’s the thinking in Tuscaloosa and the reason why Dan Werner was brought in from Ole Miss, specifically in integrating the RPOs and some of Ole Miss’ passing concepts (which hopefully will include the use of Alabama’s TE corps.) The following was said tongue-in-cheek, but for a decade in Tuscaloosa Saban has stressed that he always tries to adopt things that give his defense trouble. Werner was a great pickup in this respect, and at a bargain too!

Dan Werner, Ole Miss, do I need to tell our fans or anybody on our staff the issues that we've had with their offense the last couple of years?” Saban said. “I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for what they do, how they coach it.

“I think it'll help us on offense and defense to have a guy around here that can add some knowledge and experience to the way they do RPOs, some of the things they did in the passing game. So I've always had a lot of respect for Dan and we're glad to have them here to help."

2 potential members of Alabama D-line rotation have 'made a lot of progress' |

Raekwon Davis and Jamar King are part of the group, two of the several players in the mix to be part of Alabama's defensive line rotation.

Both have "made a lot of progress" after neither played much last season, according to coach Nick Saban.

"I think both guys can contribute to the team," Saban said.

A lot is expected from Raekwon, a 6’7” monster out of Mississippi. His recruiting was speculated to be one of the things that led to Bo Davis’ termination, and is also speculated to play a part in the Ole Miss investigation. Since those storms have passed, get excited for his play — Davis is a dynamic interior lineman and the Tide need all the quality depth it can get on that side of the ball.

How Alabama's former No. 1 middle LB recruit is fitting at new position |

To date, there haven't been too many major positional shifts in Alabama spring practices. They've been minor things like Jonah Williams swapping right tackle for the left side and Minkah Fitzpatrick trying cornerback again.

Of note with the linebackers: Ben Davis giving outside linebacker a try. Coming out of nearby Gordo High School, Davis was the No. 1 middle linebacker in 247 Sports' composite of recruiting rankings -- the No. 10 overall player in 2016.

How do you replace an athletic, complete outside linebacker? You take the last year’s No. 1 MLB recruit and try him out at Jack. This is a good move, I think. Davis reminds you a lot of Ryan Anderson in his build, aggression, pass rushing, and nose for the ball. It’s good for the depth chart as well. Alabama is shored up at the inside, but the outside could really use some players to contribute. Unlike Minkah at corner, I think this move probably sticks if Davis is competent in pass coverage.

How do full-pad practices affect Alabama Crimson Tide Football QBs, passing game? Jalen Hurts

“Been really pleased with the progress that we made, especially with a lot the young players,” Saban said. “I think coaches are doing a good job of teaching. I think the players are really focused on trying to learn. What we’re really trying to do is keep, especially with the young players, focused on what they need to do to be complete players and not be so concerned about where they are on the depth chart.

“Everybody came here to play. We are actually protecting them in terms of trying to teach them so that we don’t ever put them on the field where they are not comfortable and confident in what they are doing and they can go out there and play fast. So they have to buy into that. Conditioning is a part of that, so the guys have a chance to sustain.

For those who think Spring isn’t about learning, Coach Saban dispels that notion — players do need to learn: technique, playing within the team, buying-in to conditioning, and, as the article notes, for Hurts that learning includes throwing consistently. After a sloppy Tuesday, the team looked a lot better yesterday, and at least, from Saban’s comments so far, there don’t appear to be any loafers or rock stars this Spring.


FINALLY, no link, but if you are a student, Tide Pride is looking for students to help them out for the 2017-2018 athletic year. If you are interested, or know a student that would be interested, feel free to email to:, or call 205-348-3363

Roll Tide!