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Jumbo Package: Phil Steele is rolling with the Tide

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Florida Atlantic v Alabama Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone. The offseason has thus far been somewhat devoid of rat poison for Alabama. Enter Phil Steele serving up a heaping helping.

Steele rates Alabama defensive line as the third best in the country and its linebackers the best in the land. He also added more experience in the defensive backfield makes the unit more formidable.

You add that to an offense he calls “one of the most explosive offenses in the country,” and he gives Nick Saban’s group the nod.

“You have to look at 44-16,” Steele said of last year’s loss to Clemson in the CFP title game. “That is going to be a highly motivating factor for Alabama.”

Should that game come to fruition, the Tide will undoubtedly be out for blood. That can be a good or a bad thing, though.

Saban spoke at Walt Gary’s memorial service.

That young man had a real impact on the old coach. RIP.

The Tide continues to push ratings in the sport.

Alabama was prominent in the report, including leading the nation for total fan attendance, attracting 1,313,670 spectators to all 2018 games, including home games, away games, neutral site games, and postseason games.

The Southeastern Conference Championship Game in which Bama defeated Georgia in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta was the most watched game of the season with 17,499,000 CBS viewers. The game was also the most watched regular season game in seven years and the second most watched SEC Championship Game in its 26-year history.

That’s right, Saban sells out his place and yours.

Movie producers are finding the Josh Jacobs story to be irresistible.

If you think Jacobs’ story from homelessness to first-round draft choice would make a good movie, you’re not the only one.

“I don’t know how it came about, honestly,” Jacobs said at a Wednesday press conference, “but I’ve just been getting hit up by big-name producers, like three or four of them, about doing a movie, and I don’t know if I’m going to do it or not. I feel like it’s perfect timing to everything, and I just don’t feel like right now is the right time for it.”

Jacobs said he was hesitant because there are some elements of his childhood that he omitted from his Players’ Tribune story that he’d prefer to leave behind.

“It’s taking the story into a deeper level,” Jacobs said. “It’s saying some things that I left out in the story that probably would be shown in the movie. I don’t know if I want to do it. I still need to talk to my family about it and see how they feel about it and things like that. But I haven’t really thought about it too much.”

That young man has overcome so much, and now gets to provide for his family financially in ways that he never could have fathomed as a youth.

Another Saban/Belichick story:

Former Browns pro personnel assistant Scott Pioli, who now serves as Atlanta Falcons Assistant General Manager, said that Belichick always treated Saban differently from his other assistant coaches.

“Bill could get on people, yet when he did it to Nick, it always seemed a little bit different. You can always tell who Bill respects,” Pioli said.

One other anecdote in the story was the inclusion of Jon Bon Jovi. According to the story, Bon Jovi attended Browns practices and one bystander claims that the musician actually called plays in a two minute drill.

Considering saban’s musical tastes, I’m surprised it wasn’t Mick Jagger.

A Bama fan on Twitter has a compelling thought exercise for you:

Who ya got? Your thoughts should be interesting.

Of course, you may want to fight Byrne after reading this.

Three to four years best case? That seems ridiculous.

You may or may not care about the NBA title clinched last night by the Toronto Raptors, but we can all enjoy laughing at Spurs fan Skip Bayless, who is still angry at Kawhi Leonard (no.2) for the way his last season in San Antonio played out.

Get that man some Boudreaux’s, STAT.

Last, the most East Tennessee headline ever.

They found two men trapped on the island: Bradford Thacker and John Maxe. The duo told officers that Maxey’s nephew was with them, but left them stranded when he took off in a boat.

Officers smelled alcohol on Thacker and Maxey’s breath and said the pair had bloodshot eyes. They also reported the men slurred their speech and had trouble staying steady on their feet.

They later found a large bottle of Captain Morgan rum nearby.

While officers couldn’t find a gun on the island, they did find several spent shotgun shells. They later found a shotgun near the home that they say Thacker and Maxey shot at.

Only in Knoxville, folks.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.