His position coach, Burton Burns, was no longer in his ear and telling him to go to class. Then again, there was no class to attend. The 15-hour, semester-long course load had vanished along with the evening study halls and mandatory 6 a.m. workouts that ensured he’d be occupied from dawn until dusk.
All of a sudden Trent Richardson was bored with a lot of time on his hands and millions of dollars in his bank account.
“What do I do now?” he asked himself.
We’ve talked and speculated around this issue for years, especially in the earlier half of Saban’s tenure at Alabama when the Tide’s NFL draft picks were riddled with flameouts. Some players who thrived in Saban’s structured system struggled to stay focused and driven at the next level when they no longer had people checking behind them for everything.
This piece has a lot of good quotes from Trent Richardson, the posterboy for a “bust,” on the matter.
“I think if you had to put odds on, right now, if you say, ‘Okay, put me ten dollars on the next coach at Alabama,’ I would put my money on Jeremy Pruitt,” Finebaum said. “That’s assuming he has success at Tennessee, but I think if he has any level of success, he would move up into that upper echelon, because he’s got the ties; he’s got the understanding of the job. That’s the one thing people don’t understand about Alabama: You just can’t import a coach, let’s say (Washington head coach) Chris Petersen, as good as he is, and have him land at Alabama and be able to figure it out.
Finebaum is always gonna Finebaum. Pruitt is an easy pick though... many were already saying this even before he got the job at Tennessee. However, it’s interesting to me that Paul picked Chris Petersen as an example of someone he didn’t think would work. Personally, Petersen would actually be the one coach that I would be the most ecstatic to have if Nick ever does decide to hang it up. He’s consistently turned out top-notch defenses and fast-tracked players into the pros while also putting together both consistent run games and sometimes explosive passing offenses.
Who would your pick be, Dabo arguments aside?
If needed, the Tide’s go-to formation may be more dime than nickel in 2019. Six defensive backs on the field will be a strength for the Tide in 2019. The secondary will be much improved. The Tide is loaded depth-wise for the nickel formation with Patrick Surtain II, Trevon Diggs, Xavier McKinney, Shyheim Carter and Josh Jobe. If Jared Mayden or another player can be a physical, sixth DB (money is the position), one truly great inside linebacker is enough.
Yesterday, the Doc had a nice post on Josh Jobe’s performance at A-Day, and suddenly Alabama has found themselves in a position of having 6 very promising defensive backs. We already had a nice comment thread in the aforementioned post, but how do you predict these guys wind up lining up this fall?
I think we see McKinney and Shyheim Carter line up at safety with Diggs and Surtain at corner in a base 3-4. In nickel, Carter moves to Star and Mayden takes his spot at safety. Then in dime, Surtain moves in to the other slot corner and Josh Jobe plays outside.
Q: Some people make connections between Saban and Belichick from the standpoint of coaching style. Do you feel like working with Saban will prepare you for working with Belichick?
DH: Absolutely. I mean, I think Coach Saban prepares all of his guys to be ready for this next level and be ready for the NFL. Obviously, Coach Saban and Coach Belichick are very similar, they know each other, they’re friends, so I think that on top of Coach Saban being the coach that he is, I think him having that relationship will also help me transition to the NFL and the Patriots and help me be successful.
Damien really is a perfect for New England, and will be a great complement to Sony Michel as early as year one. He’s made a living as part of a rotational running attack at Alabama, and that will continue in the pros.
That’s it for today. The slow season has officially started. Roll Tide!