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Jumbo Package: Gump Day

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At least there’s spring practices, right?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Jumbo Package won’t quite be the 1400 word monstrosity that Erik sent at you guys yesterday. There’s just not enough news out there, and he took all of it for yesterday’s JP. Meanwhile, enjoy latest in the tabloid-esque saga:

Nick Saban to LeBron James: Alabama barbershop show will continue

“There’s been at least 20 barbershop-type things I’ve seen on TV. I didn’t know anybody owned that. I didn’t know he had one. I’m sorry that anybody could offended by something that we were just having fun with. I enjoyed it. And we’re going to continue to do it.”

The first episode of “Shop Talk” featured former stars Julio Jones, Ryan Anderson and Eddie Jackson. They were joined midway through by Saban. They chatted about topics of the day in the new barber shop constructed in Alabama’s football facility.

LeBron may be a superstar, but he’s no Nick Saban. I really hope he pushes further against Alabama just so I can see more annoyed-Nick-Saban-reactions.

Alabama and Georgia Explain How 2017’s Best Teams Define Discipline

Players and coaches alike say being in Saban’s program has impacted how they view the concept, even if they felt like it had already been a big part of their individual paths to Tuscaloosa.

“It wasn’t as clearly defined, I guarantee that,” says Ed Marynowitz, who helped run the Tide’s personnel department for Saban for the past two seasons but has since left the staff. “Whether you’re in youth sports or high school, discipline is hard work or dedication. It’s in its simplest form. What Coach does a good job of is clearly defining it. He has a way with words, and it transitions into almost every area of what you do.”

If you don’t click any other links I give you today, make sure you give this one from Sports Illustrated a view. It’s worth your time. They talk a lot about how Nick Saban is actively working to change discipline from a negative aspect, a punishment, to a positive approach. Everything is about doing the right thing, all the time.

There are a lot of quotes from people who have been around the program, and a little bit of page space dedicated to saying that Kirby Smart is emulating the same teachings at Georgia.

What we’ve learned, still want to know from Alabama spring football

It’s not thin everywhere. Alabama’s running backs have everyone except Bo Scarbrough back from last year. Josh Jacobs is among the injured not participating in the spring, though. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of leap Najee Harris can make after a big fourth quarter against Georgia. Damien Harris’ return for his senior season leaves a smaller piece of the pie for the former No. 1 recruit, though Alabama’s rotation has distributed the carries much differently from the Derrick Henry era.

Casagrande put together a solid piece here with his thoughts on many different position groups and other wonderings he’s had about the team. I wanted to highlight that Josh Jacobs is injured... again. It seems like he’s been injured for basically his entire career so far. We may never get to see his full potential if he keeps spending all his time rehabbing while other running backs get the carries.

Hale Hentges, experienced TE group looking to play bigger roles

With all three returning to the tight end room this offseason, as well as rising sophomores Major Tennison and Kedrick James, could this be the deepest tight end group Hentges has been a part of during his now-four seasons in the Crimson Tide football program?

“I mean, looking back, it very well could be,” he said. “We have a lot of guys who have experience and a lot of guys who are very good players and a lot of young guys who we expect to contribute. So, we’re obviously extremely excited with who we have, and it makes it easy for me, especially being the oldest guy.

“Obviously I want to give a lot of leadership to those guys, but whenever I look over and I see Irv or Miller and they’re doing this perfectly, it’s like, ‘Well, I don’t have to say anything because they already know what they’re doing.’ So, that’s really nice, just from that aspect that a lot of our guys in that group do the right thing and they’re going to be able to help us in a big way next year.”

Though they have yet to have any breakout stars, the tight end room is loaded with depth, experience, and talent. They have a solid mix of pass-catchers, speedsters, and big-bodied blockers that would have any offensive coordinator salivating over the versatility he would have in calling plays. Now if we could just get a quarterback to throw to them....

Alabama Football Practice Notes: April 3, 2018

Mike Locksley was working with the quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends on some goal line packages today. No offensive or defensive lines but there were some interesting tidbits.

Damien Harris and Brian Robinson were on the field at the same time in a couple of these packages.

The three tight ends being I saw being worked in were Hale Hentges, Miller Forristall, and Kedrick James. Sometimes there were two, sometimes there were three, and sometimes it was 23 personnel.

The defense rotated a good bit, but included Saivion Smith at corner in most of these looks. Deionte Thompson and Xavier McKinney were the safeties for all of the looks I saw.

Terrell Lewis and Jamey Mosley were paired together at OLB with one grouping, while Chris Allen and Christian Miller were grouped together on another rep. Markail Benton and Josh McMillon were at ILB together, while Vandarius Cowan and Ben Davis were another pairing.

And it looks like Locksley is having fun with his formations. Brian Robinson and Damien Harris in the backfield at the same time just makes my heart happy.