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Jumbo Package: Saban adds another former NFL coach

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Washington Redskins 2011 Headshots Photo by NFL via Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone. As Roger has already told you, the baseball team took two of three from Kentucky at home, and the ladies followed suit in Lexington. With the football team taking Easter weekend off there isn’t much news to report, but as always we will give you what we have.

The Crimson Tide has hired Lou Spanos as an analyst, sources told AL.com.

The 47-year old was the Tennessee Titans’ linebackers coach the last four seasons but wasn’t retained by new Titans coach Mike Vrabel.

Spanos was previously UCLA’s defensive coordinator under Jim Mora for two seasons.

Outside of that two-year stint in Westwood, Spanos has been in the NFL since 1995, working almost exclusively with linebackers. He has coached in three Super Bowls, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Just another typical Saban analyst.

“To say because we don’t have much experience we’re going to take things slow, not expose the players to the things they need to get exposed to, then next fall you’re behind,” Saban said. “I think I’d rather do it the way we do it and expose it to the stuff and then decide if they don’t have it, they can’t get it, they’re not ready to do it, don’t do it than not try to do it.”

This is exactly the mentality he should have. There will certainly be bumps along the way, and it will probably be particularly ugly in the spring, but there will be enough talent on the roster in the fall to find six guys who can execute well enough to let Lupoi be aggressive.

“Yeah, that’s something you have to keep in mind that the light at end of the tunnel is extremely far away,” senior tight end Hale Hentges said. “That’s something that I think that value and that idea gets instilled to us back in Fourth Quarter, back in winter workouts that really comes from Coach (Scott) Cochran and Coach (Nick) Saban, that idea that we’re so far away from all of our games and whatnot, but the national championships and SEC championships are won now in the winter and in spring football.

“So, that’s something that they do a really good job of telling us that the reason we’re working is for the ultimate goal. So, that’s just positive reinforcement from them.”

Football is a year-round commitment for these guys. It’s remarkable how Saban has managed to foster leaders every year to get them through the doldrums.

Christian Williams, a 4-star cornerback from Daphne (Ala.) High School, is one of the Crimson Tide’s top priorities. Williams has been to Tuscaloosa numerous times since the start of his recruitment.

Former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was Williams’ primary recruiter when he was at Alabama, but the in-state talent has started to build solid relationships with new defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi and new defensive backs coach Karl Scott.

Williams is a priority target in the 2019 class, and most believe the Tide will land him. Hope for the best.

When asked by SEC Country if he was unhappy in Tuscaloosa, Kiffin spoke about how the experience “was different.”

“It was different for me,” Kiffin said. “You’re going from a head coach in Los Angeles, California, to an assistant coach in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. And we didn’t move the kids. So not only are you going from L.A. to Tuscaloosa, you go from head coach to assistant coach and your kids, your family, are staying in L.A. That led to, when I talk about, ‘OK, hey, yeah, it wasn’t the most fun of times,’ well, there were a lot of things involved in that.”

People just can’t help but ask Lane about Alabama.

Last but not least, a nine year old girl named Anna Beeker is playing on the men’s varsity golf team at Tuscaloosa Academy.

Anna’s best score on nine holes is 32, 4-under-par, which she shot in a youth tournament. She has increased her off-the-tee off distance since joining TA’s team, and continues to adjust to the longer field.

“I just had to think about it like it was a par-4 and just play it as a par-5,” she said.

Anna began playing golf at age 5. She has competed across the country on the youth circuit: Her favorite destination is San Diego, where she has twice played in the IMG Academy Junior World Championships, finishing in the top 15 both times.

When competing as an individual they are allowing her to play one tee-box forward, but it’s still well behind where she would normally be, and she is consistently breaking 100. Simply incredible.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.