Alabama Spring Football Practice Notes: 3/26/2019
Terrell Lewis (ACL) was back and dressed out after missing the last two practices. He wore a sleeve on his right leg rather than the brace we saw during the first four practices and stayed near the rest of the outside linebackers. Didn’t look like he was participating in the drills. When the group ran to a different part of the field, Lewis walked.
Dylan Moses and Joshua McMillon led the inside linebackers. Markail Benton and Jaylen Moody were second, followed by Shane Lee and Ale Kaho.
There’s a lot of talk and rumors going around at the moment of position grouping and orders from the spring practice sessions. I highlighted this one in particular not because Josh McMillon is alongside Moses (seniority always wins out at this point), but because Jaylen Moody appears to be ahead of Kaho, who was part of the same recruiting class.
Again, it all means very little at this point in the spring, but orders are always at least somewhat of a reflection of the coaches’ thoughts.
Alabama Football: Five players to watch at A-Day scrimmage
A 5-star recruit out of the IMG Academy in Florida, Evan Neal has already made an impression in spring practice. At 6’7” 360 lbs, Neal certainly has the potential to see playing time this season. With offensive line veterans Ross Pierschbacher and Jonah Williams going to the league, the offensive line will need both depth and experience. While Neal may not earn a starting position this year, I anticipate he will earn a spot in the rotation as needed earning valuable experience for the future.
Alabama practice report: Notes on Terrell Lewis, O-Line, more
— Alabama continues to tinker with the offensive line as redshirt senior Matt Womack appeared to be idle Tuesday. With Womack watching, the Tide featured one alignment that included Alex Leatherwood at left tackle, Evan Neal at left guard, Chris Owens at center, Emil Ekiyor at right guard and Jedrick Wills Jr. at right tackle.
Word around the street is that Neal has been working some with the first team at left guard. I’m on record saying that, while extremely talented, I wasn’t sure Neal would be ready for the college game in year one. Who knows, I may just have to eat my words. And that would definitely be a welcome thing to have a true freshman come in and dominate from day one.
Nick Saban addresses O-line, new assistants, more
— Saban said outside linebacker Eyabi Anoma has done a good job and has responded well to position coach Sal Sunseri.
— Saban said Alabama has never used many designed runs for Tua Tagovailoa, but that it’s partially the quarterback’s responsibility to protect himself and there is no real way to create schemes around shielding him.
— Saban, while calling former Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson a great guy, said he has confidence in the administration to make the right hire for his replacement.
— Saban said a leadership team hasn’t been selected amongst the players because they still need to exemplify the qualities required to be included in that group. He added that leadership is necessary for the team to maximize its potential.
There’s a lot of good tidbits from Nick’s press conference yesterday, so give it a search if you have some free time. If you prefer the spark notes version, AL.com has you covered here. I think Saban is most definitely correct in noting that Tua needs to do a better job of protecting himself. He’s a good, if not quite spectacular, scrambler, but he has a really bad habit of taking hits head on while trying to pinball around for extra yards.
Landon Collins has to change jersey number with Washington Redskins
In addition to signing Collins to a six-year, $84 million contract, Washington owner Dan Snyder also presented Collins with an autographed Sean Taylor jersey at a dinner to mark his agreement to join the Redskins.
“When he told me that it was a game-worn jersey signed by him in the box, instantly broke down -- instantly -- straight into tears,” Collins said. “He handed the box over -- he tried handing me the box. I couldn’t take the box. I couldn’t move, shaking, son on my lap. My son actually grabbed the box and started opening the box. You know kids are going to open presents no matter what, so he started opening the box, I’m still crying. … It took me about 30, 45 minutes to calm down. I couldn’t even eat. I had the salad right there. I couldn’t even eat the salad.”
Here’s a nice story from Landon Collins. Though I was personally pulling for him to end up in Seattle (though there was probably never really any interest in that direction), I do think that Washington is going to be a great fit for him, both scheme-wise and personally. And having that many other former Alabama players on the same defense has to do something for building camaraderie in the locker room and on the field.
I’ll leave off any news surrounding the Tide hoops coach search, since we have plenty of standalone articles on that here at RBR. In the meantime, let’s just hope this transfer portal thing with Kira Lewis ends up just like it did for Eyabi Anoma a couple of months ago.