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Jumbo Package: Survive the Storm!

While you’re inside riding out the weather hitting Alabama today, here’s some links for your entertainment

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama DB hopes to continue to rise through the ranks

In late December, Minkah Fitzpatrick was asked about a defender on Alabama's roster who has caught his eye.

"I would say Shyheim Carter," Fitzpatrick explained. "He was supposed to have a bigger role this season. And then it didn't kind of work out for him. But he didn't let it get to him. He's been working real hard this season and learning the playbook. And he's getting better out there and he's been out there competing every day."

Yesterday, Erik linked to an article talking about Tony Brown and Minkah Fitzpatrick being the first two in line in cornerback drills. While Tony, Minkah, and Anthony Averett are all seasoned veterans that we’ve seen a good bit of, Shyheim Carter is a bit of an unknown with a lot of potential. He was one of my favorite recruits in the 2016 recruiting class, and looked like he may get substantial playing time as a true freshman early in the season before disappearing later.

If Carter can pull things together and allow Fitzpatrick to continue working at safety rather than moving up to corner, it would give the Tide defense some extra depth and flexibility in the secondary.

AJ McCarron on NFL future: 'As of right now, I'll be in Cincy'

"I don't think anything. I just go with what I know, and as of right now, I'll be in Cincy."

One other bit of NFL news that broke Tuesday might affect McCarron's future. ESPN is reporting that long-time Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will retire to take a job in television rather than sign with a team for 2017.

Romo was thought to likely sign with the Denver Broncos or Houston Texans, with whichever team lost out on him perhaps pursuing McCarron (he's also been tied to the Cleveland Browns, where former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is now offensive coordinator). With Romo now apparently out of the mix, that's one additional quarterback job opening, but McCarron isn't letting himself ponder a change in teams too much.

"Not until they call me," McCarron said. "It's fun to think about, but that really just clouds your mind with stuff you don't really want."

A.J. McCarron has been the source of trade rumors over the past three offseasons, but I wouldn’t expect to see him change teams just yet. Cincy has thus far made it pretty clear that they really value A.J. as a backup to Andy Dalton and have little desire to lose their stability.

That said, he is about to enter into the final year of his rookie contract, and I don’t expect the Bengals will want to pay two quarterbacks. So next year about this time we may very well be warming up to McCarron on a new team vying to be a NFL starter.

What we've learned, still hope to find out from Alabama spring practice

-- The most notable thing about this March/April is what isn't happening. For the first time since 2013, there isn't a high-profile quarterback competition. That means the offense can focus on building on what happened last fall instead of a round robin audition between quarterbacks with differing styles and skill sets. Jalen Hurts can take all of the first-team snaps that'll help build the chemistry and timing that may have suffered a bit last season. Saban and the offensive coaches will get a first preview in Saturday's scrimmage. He said he's looking to see how Hurts has improved decision making, pocket presence and reading defenses among other criteria.

-- Speaking of competitions, there seems to be fewer of the high-profile battles compared to previous years. The most intriguing position is in the offensive backfield. But running backs aren't like quarterbacks or left tackles. It can be done by committee. This should be more interesting in August when Bo Scarbrough and B.J. Emmons are healthy again.

AL.com has a few other notes summarizing what we’ve heard this spring, but I’m sure you’ve all already heard most of it before. The big thing this offseason is that we finally have a starting QB in the offseason for the first time since A.J. McCarron was entering his senior season. If anything, this should help with the miscommunications, false starts, and delay of games that plagued the offense over the last three seasons.

Or maybe that was a Kiffin byproduct. It will be hard to tell now that we never got to isolate one or the other.

In any case, I’m excited to see what this offense can do now that they don’t have to spend all offseason trying to decide who will be throwing the ball.

Ar'Mond Davis announces plans to transfer from Alabama

Davis appeared in 32 contests in his first and only season in Tuscaloosa and ranked fourth on the team in made three-pointers (32) and was third in threes attempted (129). The junior college transfer was fifth on the team in scoring (6.9 ppg) and finished the year with 10 double-figure scoring contests on the season.

Davis joins Nick King and Brandon Austin as players to transfer from Alabama this offseason. The opening leaves two spots on the Crimson Tide's roster with a heralded recruiting class coming in.

Though I hate to lose the depth and Davis did finally start to provide a little spark for the team at the end of the season, he never lived up to his 3-point sharpshooter reputation. With more guards in Collin Sexton and John Petty coming in, Davis likely saw the writing on the wall.

Tight end group hopes Ronnie Clark sticks at new position

The move makes former Alabama offensive coordinator and current Florida head coach Jim McElwain right in his position prediction, too. In an article from AL.com’s Matt Zenitz, McElwain told Clark’s coach at Calera (Ala.) High School, Wiley McKeller, H-back is where he foresaw the four-star prospect from the 2014 recruiting cycle playing at the collegiate level in 2011.
“He’s not really fast enough to be a receiver," McElwain said when he was in Tuscaloosa, per AL.com, “but if he put on some weight, he could probably be a pretty good H-back.”
Six years later, McElwain is finally correct.

The Ronnie Clark to H-back is an interesting move, and I think it finally fits him. He never struck me as a running back.

Apparently, Coach Mac said the same 6 years ago.