Let’s start with the big news. Reuben Foster, arrested for domestic violence, marijuana possession, and a handgun offense, was facing termination from the 49ers as late as Monday. GM John Lynch put everyone on notice that if the allegations were true, Foster would be gone.
That threat may no longer be the case. Foster’s accuser, his live-in girlfriend, recanted her accusations last night. Instead, it appears that Elissa Ennis got into a brawl with another woman, and then Foster tried to break up with her thereafter, leading to the DV allegations. This isn’t a bare recitation by Ennis either; she has produced video evidence of the altercation with the other woman.
Full press release by Ennis’ attorney follows:
Here is the entire release from Stephanie Rickard, the attorney for Elissa Ennis, Reuben Foster’s former girlfriend.— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) April 26, 2018
Key sentence: The charges against Foster “were based on lies." pic.twitter.com/kLrpjy0ugU
The charge for the high-capacity magazine has already been dropped. Who knows if the DV charges will be dropped? The DA’s office has already said that it did not expect Ennis would cooperate, and planned on going forward with or without her.
But, even if the most serious legal issues are cleared up, that still leaves Foster with the Alabama possession of marijuana offense and a capricious spin of Roger Goodell’s disciplinary wheel thereafter. Foster could just get the two-to-four games per the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Then again, it is just as likely that the league makes its own inquiry into Ennis’ allegations and finds them more credible than their retraction. Anything is possible with the Shield.
This story isn’t over by a long shot.
The NFL is now flooded with players Saban has produced since he left the AFC East and became the Crimson Tide’s version of Bill Belichick. All but five NFL teams (Dallas, Minnesota, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Cleveland) have at least one Alabama gridiron alumnus on their rosters.
There were 44 Crimson Tide players in the league when NFL offseason workout programs opened this month. Among them are some of the league’s best players at their respective positions like Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones, New Orleans running back Mark Ingram, Baltimore linebacker C.J. Mosley and New York Giants safety Landon Collins.
Those were good times, weren’t they? Alabama is now a pipeline for quality players up and down 28 professional rosters.
As a two-time captain under University of Alabama coach Nick Saban, Rashad Johnson had orchestrated every kind of defensive scheme — quarters, cover 2, fire zone blitz, etc. — imaginable. So, when the Arizona Cardinals drafted him in 2009, the rookie’s NFL playbook resembled his college one … almost. “It was actually easier,” says Johnson. “It definitely was a lot simpler, a little bit more straightforward.”
Armed with football tutelage, safeties from Alabama are charting out a unique trajectory straight to the NFL. During Saban’s tenure at Alabama, which has included five national titles, six safeties have been drafted into the NFL. Since 2014 only Louisville has had as many safeties drafted as Alabama, and no school can match its success once they get there.
Last night, Josh Snead and Co. at SEC Shorts brought the UCF trophy to Tuscaloosa for its first championship stop. There were lines outside of Gallettes to witness it firsthand. Mayor Walt Maddox even gave the guys the key to the City. Slow clap all around for this remarkable bit of humorous pettiness:
This is a great read by Casagrande: interviewing Minkah Fitzpatrick and Rashaan Evans about what they will miss most at the University of Alabama.
Minkah’s in particular stood out — his most memorable game was also the one where he served notice to the rest of the nation:
Fitzpatrick said playing in national championship games all three seasons are hard to forget, but one regular-season game holds a special place in his memory bank. The low-scoring 2016 visit to Baton Rouge for a 10-0 win over LSU was intense.
”We were playing them at their stadium in my first game at safety, I had just moved,” Fitzpatrick said. “The score was 10-0. It was just so much fun. The atmosphere was crazy. It was at night. There was like fog coming over the stadium. Couldn’t see across the field. I’m never going to forget that week.”
I’m really glad BOL did a draft preview: because we sure didn’t. (Seriously, they don’t get much traffic at RBR. They are a ton of work. And they just don’t offer much insight or analysis beyond that which you could get elsewhere, and I daresay better. We are, as the kids say, staying in lane on this.)
If you prefer AL’s beat reporting, here’s their equally-good version of a draft preview.
One person that is qualified to opine about the pro prospects of ‘Bama players? How about someone who’s coached both, Nick Saban:
“Maybe some people don’t remember Drew Hill that we had with the Houston Oilers way back when I coached there,” Saban said. “(Ridley’s) great coming out of a break. Can really drop his weight and separate out of a break. I know some people look at his size and say, well, we like bigger guys and all that. But this guy’s really a hard-working, very dependable receiver. Great hands, hard to cover in man-to-man and he’ll make critical catches in critical situations for you in a game. And I think his speed and quickness is pretty unique. So, I think he’s going to be an outstanding player.”
Finally, I leave you with perhaps the most ‘Barn thing ever and do so without commentary (you can supply your own here:)
Auburn equestrian coach @GregWilliamsAU: "I want to shout this out to all the bammers out there; you want to call us barners, you're darn right. You come have a piece of us anytime." pic.twitter.com/SkiG3JoN2k— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) April 24, 2018
See you tonight for the NFL draft. Roll Tide