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Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

Not talking about basketball... Not talking about basketball... not talking about basketball...

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not talking about the men’s basketball team today. Not on Gump Day. Here’s some football links instead:

Alabama QB competition: Sizing up Jalen Hurts vs. Tua Tagovailoa

Comparatively, Tagovailoa’s stats suggest a pass-first, run-second play style. Even with his dual-threat ability, he only ran on 16 percent of plays in which he was the featured player. He also eclipsed Hurts’ completion percentage (63.6) and quarterback rating (175.0) while averaging 4.9 yards a carry.

What does this mean? Only that Tagovailoa is more likely to be a bigger passing threat than Hurts at quarterback. That will certainly be taken into consideration when Saban decides who the starter will be for 2018.

This is from some sports site I haven’t seen before, I dunno if they’re new or I’ve just missed them for years, but this is a pretty well researched piece. Obviously, the Jalen/Tua stuff is so over-discussed around here that we’ve already discussed at least 72 times everything mentioned in the article, but I was impressed with the effort they put in to finding numbers and creating a story.

Barton Simmons: Are coaching staff changes an issue for Alabama?

“There’s always a little bit of concern because you’re losing both coordinators and getting a new special teams coordinator as well, that’s just a lot of turnover,” Simmons said. “But again, when Nick Saban is still running point over there, you feel good about the direction of the program and the vision. I think they’re really excited about some of the hires.

Tosh Lupoi, elevated to defensive coordinator, he’s a rising star — certainly on the recruiting trail. And Pete Golding, who they brought in from Texas-San Antonio, that’s a guy who is going to play a really key role in the game-planning and Xs and Os side of the things, defensively.”

Out of Alabama’s 10 full-time assistant coaches, only Brent Key (offensive line) has the same role he had last season.

”They’ve got some superstars, just a lot of new faces,” Simmons said. “I think Nick Saban, (above) anybody, has proven he can adjust and manage those new faces and be successful anyway.”

Personally, I’m extremely optimistic about the coaching changes. I was absolutely not a fan of the Daboll experiment the entire time he was here, and I think Locksley will be a better fit. Meanwhile, the hires of Josh Gattis for the receivers and Craig Kuligowski for the defensive line are both slam-dunk hires.

Losing Jeremy Pruitt is the only major loss, as his in-game play calling abilities were second-to-none, but Lupoi does have promise. And losing Burns to an off field role might also be a problem, but I also get the feeling he’ll still be around in the shadows acting as a “consultant”

Why some teams didn’t want Alabama’s Robert Foster at the NFL scouting combine

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Pennsylvania native ran the 40-yard in 4.34 seconds during the Tide’s 2016 spring testing, which was tied with Anthony Averett and Tony Brown for the fastest time on the team.

He ran a 4.44 40 in 2015 and a 4.47 last year.

Regardless of the times, though, people at Alabama will tell you that Foster is a rare level of fast, which should show when wide receivers go through on-field testing at the combine on Saturday.

”I expect him to really just set it on fire (at the combine),” former Tide linebacker Rashaan Evans said. “I think it’s good for him to be kind of under the radar because no one expects anything as far as what he’s going to run in the 40 or anything else because they really don’t even know too much about him. But I think once he (goes through) the combine and him doing the 40, the L-cone drill, the (shuttle drill) and him getting on the field and seeing how he can catch on the run and all those things, they’re going to be blown away.”

Has there been an Alabama football player in recent memory to be as much of a tease as 5-year-breakout-candidate Robert Foster? Man, I really, really thought he’d be a special wide receiver for us. But it just never happened.

The question is: are NFL teams going to convince themselves that his lack of production was due to the quarterbacks, and not the receiver himself? It only takes one team to fall in love to get him drafted.

Alabama Football: ‘Never too early’ 2018 Defense depth chart

Let’s review who started against FSU last season. The list includes the base, nickel and dime options.

DE Da’Shawn Hand

NG Da’Ron Payne

DE Isaiah Buggs

JACK Anfernee Jennings

MIKE Shaun Dion Hamilton

WILL Rashaan Evans

SAM Christian Miller

CB Anthony Averett

CB Trevon Diggs; Levi Wallace

S Minkah Fitzpatrick

S Ronnie Harrison

MONEY Hootie Jones

STAR Tony Brown

Now the list of returning starters for 2018. Trevon Diggs is not listed since he lost his starting slot to Levi Wallace so early in the season.



DE Isaiah Buggs

JACK Anfernee Jennings



SAM Christian Miller







Talk about a defensive re-tool. On the bright side, due to injuries, the other linebackers (such as Terrell Lewis, Mack Wilson, and Dylan Moses) all got a starter’s worth of playing time in 2017, and will basically be returning starters. Along the defensive line, Raekwon Davis was truly a starter, but was limited in the FSU game due to a gunshot offseason wound.

And Deionte Thompson gained starting experience at safety in the two playoff games.

So the depth chart isn’t quite as inexperienced as it’s being made out to be here.

As Alabama fans, you’re required to have an unquestioning love of a good defense. In case you’re new to this whole “elite” thing, here’s a short video showing you what one of the best defenses in college football history looked like: