Happy Monday, everyone. Baseball won two of three at Mizzou, and softball split the first two games with #4 Florida, with the rubber match tonight. The Gym Tide won their regional, and the track and field teams had several standout performances at the Crimson Tide Invitational. Hard to describe that as anything but a stellar weekend for Bama sports.
Of course, football had the first scrimmage of the spring. We’ll open with Scott Cochran’s A-Day promo.
Coach Cochran wants you at @AlabamaFTBL's Golden Flake A-Day on Saturday, April 21 where you can get your photo with the CFP National Championship trophy! Free admission. #RollTide pic.twitter.com/iGpgAor0GQ— Alabama Athletics (@UA_Athletics) April 8, 2018
After Saturday’s scrimmage, the first of spring, you get the sense that some of that anxiety stems from the defensive line, a unit Saban fretted about a bit.
“We’re looking for who can play on that side and who can help us and where we can find some depth because that is a bit of an issue for us right now,” Saban said.
The Crimson Tide has a known quantity in Raekwon Davis, who hasn’t been 100 percent this spring, but there are also plenty of question marks in terms of depth. That’s why Saban and his staff signed Tevita Musika for the fall.
For now, though, Saban said the team is relying on young, relatively inexperienced players.
Joseph Bulovas was 4 of 5 on field goals.
None of the five were chip shots, according to Nick Saban. Only one, per Saban, was from inside the 20-yard line.
”That was encouraging,” Saban said.
Kickoff-wise, Bulovas had “a couple good kickoffs and when he was kicking off into the wind, maybe not as good.”
“You can’t just assume just because a guy can play tackle that when he goes and plays guard it’s not going to take some reps. Things happen a little quicker inside and you have to be able to react a little better.”
As for his initial impression of revamped unit: “We probably had too much pressure in the quarterback at times. We have to do a better job in pass protection, but we were able to run the ball fairly consistently.”
Tough to read much into any of this stuff. On the one hand, there is anxiety about a young defensive line, but on the other hand there was too much pressure on the QB at times. It sounds like a younger, lighter DL group with its top player limited is struggling to hold its ground against a mauling offensive line, but considering the difference in experience that wouldn’t be surprising at this point.
On the QBs, Saban seems pleased with both guys, though he did say that Jalen got off to a slow start before settling in. Tua Tagovailoa was able to go about 20 snaps.
Oh, and that kicking news?
Some recruiting tidbits:
“It blew my mind. It exceeded all of my expectations,” Thibodeaux told SEC Country. “I wasn’t really too big on Alabama going into it, but they changed my mind. Before going, it just seemed like too much of a factory. They got the best guys. They didn’t turn these guys into big D-1 prospects. They just got the best guys. But now seeing it in person, I see that they pay attention to every little detail [to] make them better.”
One of the things contributing to Thibodeaux’s perception change was watching the players work out with strength coach Scott Cochran. Thibodeaux noted that no one in the weight room was sitting around and hanging out. They all were working on something.
It was at that time when Thibodeaux said he realized why Alabama is consistently competing for national championships.
“That’s why they are No. 1,” Thibodeaux said. “That’s why they are the best.”
The best pass rusher in the country happens to be from California, also known as Tosh country. He established the first contact and got him to campus, where Cochran and Saban could do work. It sounds like the Tide is in pretty good shape with him at this point, but there is a long way to go.
“Now, I’m the guy texting recruits,” he added. “I’m texting them every day, telling them ‘Happy birthday’ on their birthday. When I see a top-5 on Twitter, I might not even know the guy, but I’ll follow them right then or text them or DM them and tell them why I chose Alabama.
Forbes decided to weigh in on the LeBron vs. Saban bit, with basically the same message.
Had James remained silent on this matter, Dave McMenamin from ESPN would never have reported the story, and millions of people would never have heard of Alabama’s web series. For this reason alone, James may have been better served had this matter been handled amicably and out of the public eye.
But that didn’t happen, and Michael Casagrande from AL.com reported on Thursday that tensions between Alabama and James had risen following Saban’s statement that his show would continue, with the new name. So the ball is now in King James’ court to decide whether he will take Alabama and Saban to court.
Surely LeBron’s advisers know better than to go to court.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.