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Jumbo Package: Mike Locksley assured that Saban wasn’t calling him a quitter

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Alabama Football Fan Day Advertiser-USA TODAY NETWORK

Happy Friday, everyone. Outside of SEC Media Days which Erik covered thoroughly for you, news is pretty light today. As usual, the media stirs the Alabama pot.

Saban was talking in general about the difficulty in balancing two jobs, which was an issue with Lane Kiffin, but of course the media types are going to spin it as a slight against one or more of them and ask each coach who ended up leaving. Saban’s point has some merit: Josh Gattis reportedly campaigned hard for the Temple head coaching job and of course left to be the OC at Michigan, Locksley was already hired at Maryland, and all indications are that Manny Diaz was recruiting Dan Enos from the moment Mark Richt retired.

None of that changes the fact that the defense, chiefly the pass rush and secondary communication, bore the brunt of Saban’s wrath. There is a reason that grizzled vets Sal Sunseri, Brian Baker, and Charles Kelly were brought in for that side of the ball to support Pete Golding and Karl Scott, and it is those coaches and their ability to bring talent along in their respective positions that will determine this team’s fate.

Check out this snippet from Gus Malzahn:

“Other teams were griping and all this. And now everybody is playing fast. Even the ones that had health issues and all that, they’re all playing fast. Now it’s not the same advantage it once was. You got to stay on that cutting edge, and you got to evolve and everything that goes with that.”

Gee, I wonder who the “health issues” comment is referencing?

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase spoke about the first time he saw Nick Saban call a defense.

Adam Gase Recalls Genius Of Nick Saban

On December 29, 2000, Adam Gase saw the genius of Nick Saban in person. He hasn't forgotten since. Watch the full season premiere of One Jets Drive now → https://nyj.social/2M3JlLs

Posted by New York Jets on Thursday, July 18, 2019

Yeah, he is really, really good.

People are still debating about Najee Harris’s NFL prospects.

But Harris’ lack of receiving prowess and lateral quickness are big worries in the NFL community. The league has shifted away from power/pounder backs who are not light on their feet and who cannot make significant contributions to the passing game. Harris has a total of 10 catches (on 14 targets) for a mere 52 yards.

Certainly, the pass-game contribution could improve over time. But Scarbrough is a good example of a Nick Saban-coached back who was more of a power-based unitasker who never made big strides in the passing game. That was a big reason why he slipped so far in the draft despite being a bull on the ground at times.

We will see I guess, but rumblings out of practice have been that Najee is quite the receiver. He will have the opportunity to show his complete game this season.

Last, Julio Jones was named to Al.com’s Mount Rushmore of Coastal Alabama sports.

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

Roll Tide.