Why young Alabama QB has been compared to a tennis legend
Behind the scenes, one of Alabama’s coaches has at least once jokingly compared the Crimson Tide’s third-string quarterback to a well-known former tennis player.
Mac Jones is somewhat similar to tennis legend John McEnroe, that coach apparently said.
Though not anywhere near the level of McEnroe’s old temper tantrums, Jones will sometimes react poorly when something bad happens during practice. But, like back in the day with McEnroe, Jones can be very good when he’s locked in and not dwelling on something negative that may have happened.
Mac Jones has been all the talk of the watering holes since last Saturday. It’s not new news about him or anything, but you do get a couple of quotes from Saban and Damien Harris about the young QB’s progress.
“The second time we played Clemson in the national championship,” Hand, who played for Alabama from 2014-17, told DePalma of his toughest loss with the Crimson Tide. “We were undefeated. That was a great defense that we had. I mean, everything was clicking on all cylinders. I think we were up, too, in that game.
“So for that to happen, man, I always make the comparison to what we lived through [to] just imagine you’re back in the caveman era and you’ve got a tribe, and you and your tribe, you’re tribal hunters. You all are prepared for that one wave where there’s a whole bunch of buffalo. You know what I’m saying?
“So you train all year, you came up with a plan, a master plan. You sharpened your tools, and it took you 365 days. And then when the time came, you had the water buffalo, because that’s going to provide you and your tribe with food and nourishment for the whole year. And it just slips through literally at the last second.”
I hate to bring up bad feelings and all, so we won’t dwell on this one. But Hand’s description was so good I couldn’t pass it up. If football doesn’t work out, he might have a possible career in creative writing.
Starters: Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy and Devonta Smith
The starting wides are expected to be 2017’s impressive freshmen, Henry Ruggs III, Devonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy.
Backups: Tyrell Shavers, Jaylen Waddle, Xavian Marks and Chadarius Townsend
Tyrell Shavers had a strong spring until a toe injury sidelined him for the rest of spring. The 6-feet-6 redshirt freshman will be a matchup problem for opposing cornerbacks. Shavers can be particularly effective in redzone sets.
Redshirt freshman, Chadarius Townsend helped his cause with a long TD reception in the A-Day game. Townsend, a high school QB, ran through a well-positioned Daniel Wright on the run after the catch. Senior Xavian Marks also looked good in the A-Day game and could see more action in 2018.
Jaylen Waddle is so highly regarded he has a chance to settle in at slot receiver and be one of the top four pass receiving targets in 2018. The other 2018 freshman wide receivers, Slade Bolden and Xavier Williams will likely see the field in special teams roles.
BamaHammer is taking on the unenviable task of trying to predict a depth chart that Saban has yet to release. Things mostly seem pretty settled after what we saw at A-Day, and the upcoming freshman class isn’t likely to have as much of an immediate impact on the 2-deep as last year’s class did.
That said, I fully expect Xavier Williams to be more likely to get playing time at receiver early on than Jaylen Waddle.
Rosen was asked if he cares if he is the No. 1 pick and went on a small rant about how he feels he has been an underdog in his football career and doesn’t care where he goes. In the process, he let slip a little insult toward Barnett.
“Blake Barnett was the Elite 11 MVP,” Rosen said. “He was the dude that was going to go to ‘Bama, win a couple championships, call it quits and go to the league as the first overall pick. You don’t really hear about him too much. ”
Now that’s some good, old-fashioned, California shade right there.
Raiders pick up WR Cooper’s fifth-year option
If Cooper, 23, were to play under a fifth-year option in 2019, he would make approximately $13.9 million.
The Raiders eventually may try to sign him to a contract extension that would guarantee him more money but would count less against the salary cap, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Looks like Coach Gruden likes Amari Cooper. The Raiders are picking up the 5th year option on his rookie contract, making him the 11th highest paid receiver in the NFL. Julio Jones is the 8th. But Alabama players are all busts in the NFL, right? Is that still a trope?
Rob Rang’s Final Top 100 Big Board
6. Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS/CB, Alabama, 6-0, 204, 4.46, junior
With today’s pass-happy NFL offenses, versatile defensive backs are more important than ever, and no one in this class can match Fitzpatrick’s combination of instincts, coverage skills and reliable open-field tackling. Fitzpatrick may lack the elite fluidity and change of direction of top cover corners, but his route anticipation and physicality make up for it, allowing him to project as a defensive eraser capable of starring wherever a team most needs help in its secondary.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of the most fluid athletes I’ve ever watched at Bama, so I’m not sure where Rob Rang came up with that as a negative to his game. And if you want numerical proof, he ran a 3.81s short shuttle coming out of high school, which is better than every single cornerback in the draft this year.