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Jumbo Package: Alabama keeping the spread? Can Ridley bounce back? Pro Day results

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Day

Alabama hosted its first Pro Day yesterday and, given the number of players participating and the quality of the attendees, it may as well have been a mini-Combine.

Here’s how the players performed

And, here’s what Saban had to say about the event (and Reuben Foster, in particular.) Saban’s got jokes, y’all!

Many Alabama players had a good day yesterday in the friendly confines of Hank Crisp. Perhaps no one helped themselves as much as Gehrig Dieter:

And that is why on Wednesday he wanted to remind NFL scouts and coaches that he can excel as a receiver, too. In a span of a couple of hours, Dieter went through a battery of tests, ran the 40-yard dash in an unofficial time of 4.58 seconds and executed a variety of patterns that he said weren't made available to him during his one season with the Tide. He also worked from the slot and at the wideout spot, where he played predominantly at Bowling Green.

"It was very big for him," said tight end O.J. Howard, his former teammate. "He came out and ran great routes. He did a really good job. It's huge. He didn't get a lot of opportunities [last season]. But this guy has a lot of film, especially from Bowling Green. I know he's a good receiver. So, he'll be fine."

The Tide didn’t tip their hand by having a QB out there, so Dieter’s old buddy from Bowling Green did the honors. Dieter was heavily emphasizing his ability to block and play special teams as well as play the slot and outside. Best of luck, man.

At Pro Day, Alabama WR Gehrig Dieter reminds NFL of player he once was |

Hatin’ ass Spurrier

Nick Saban was named the Coach of the Year (as he rightly deserved,) but ole’ Retired Ball Coach couldn’t resist taking a jab at him. What follows are the highlights of the decade-long shade that Spurrier has thrown towards Saban.

Steve Spurrier is still firing jabs at Nick Saban, even in retirement -

Auburn may finally have a competent quarterback

Did you know Gus Malzahn has never let his QBs seek outside position coaching? That could have something to do with the tire-fire record he has developing his own recruits. Just sayin’. Anyway, that’s about to change, as new OC Chip Lindsey is letting the potential starters (cough, Stidham, cough) get some professional help.

Chip Lindsey changes longtime Gus Malzahn rule about quarterbacks

Can Ridley recapture the magic?

Can Calvin Ridley recapture magic of his freshman season?

Of course he can. It’s hard for any receiver to thrive when the ball is thrown infrequently and about 4-yards from the LOS. Look for Calvin to bounce back this season, especially in ArDarius Stewart’s absence.

The truth, it appears, is complicated. Just as it’s unfair to label his season a sophomore slump -- he still finished with 72 catches and 769 yards -- it’s hard to place the blame for his dip in production at any one person’s feet. Instead, you have to look at a freshman quarterback, an offense that went a different direction and Ridley’s own inconsistency.

Xs and Os: When is a receiver “open”?

What is OPEN? – The Most Important Question a Quarterback Must Answer – R4 Football Systems

We talk of finding the “open receiver.” But, in terms of execution and particularly evaluating a WR’s separation and a QB’s decision-making, what does it mean? How is it defined? How is it coached?

There is an excellent article here on that very topic:

“Open” Space is Negative Space

In a previous article “How speed reading and juggling changed the way I coached quarterbacks,” we discussed how quarterbacks can enhance their observation of multiple defenders positions at a moment in time. An increase of visual information does not provide a standalone revelation to what is open. It’s how you process the information that defines what is open.

To do this a quarterback must predict the probability of defender’s movements in the future. This requires the ability of intuition. Intuition is nothing more than recognizing patterns and understanding what they mean.

But, what will the offense be?

Two words: Who knows? That’s not being cute Daboll has a pedigree in two different offenses, and word is cumming down the pipe that he’s now learning the spread. It could be a very eclectic Tide offense that takes the field in 2017.

Nick Saban: New OC Brian Daboll learning spread concepts

That’s it for the moment. Go forth and spread discord in your respective communities.