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Jumbo Package: NFL camps open with looming questions and high expectations for Alabama standouts

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<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans

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Psssst. Men’s basketball tickets are now on sale.
This season holds a lot of promise, and the team has the potential to vault into the national consciousness early. Before Christmas, Alabama’s out-of-conference slate will see the Tide facing Belmont and post an appearance in the Battle for Atlantis, alongside Gonzaga, UNC, Iowa State, Oregon, and Michigan.
Link above. But, if you hate Alabama’s online ticketing ordering — and, lord knows, I do — you can also call 205-348-3592 and order them from a real live human. And at just $30, that’s a very doable deposit, even if you’re broke until the 1st — and, lord knows, I am. Get your deposit in early, though: seat allocations begin in mid-September.

Jerry Jeudy was part of a select group of wideout attendees who worked with Antonio Brown in the offseason.

“I learned a lot of stuff with Antonio Brown,” Jeudy said. “Mostly, I learned how to take care of your body and stuff like that because that’s the (most) important thing. Availability is the best ability, so me taking care of my body, that’s the best thing.”

Let’s hope the only the only thing the reigning Biletnikoff winner took away from Brown was performance-related. It’s not like No. 84 is exactly great off the field or in the locker room.

Hank South has a July recruiting update for you. One guy has been off the charts attracting talent, particularly in Florida — good ole’ Sal Sunseri:

“We’ve heard from a lot of recruits since he (Sal Sunseri) has rejoined the staff.” South told Reier about what possibly sold 4-star defensive tackle Timothy Smith to commit to Alabama.

”I knew coach Sal at Florida,” South told Reier. “now I know him at Alabama, and it helps Alabama. Several recruits have said that. He’s been a huge boost to this recruiting staff, and a guy that is going to keep Bama really strong in Florida. More so than they have in recent years.”

Imagine being so pitiless that you question whether a player truly has mental health issues? Good job, Jerkface McDadpants.

Looking for dark horses for the CFP in 2020? SI identifies a few.

If you missed it, in Friday’s interview with the legendary Phil Steele, he picked some of his own potential teams, including the Utes. And, if you did miss it, what are you waiting on? The link is right here.

Is that good? That seems like it’s good — especially since linebacker is a position of need for the Tide (and any team with a 3-4, to be honest). Then again, linebacker is seemingly always a position of need: from the studs inside, to off-ball maulers, to establishing elite depth, to edge-rush specialists.

A total of seven linebackers committed to Alabama or Auburn have been selected among the 51 preseason nominees for the high school Butkus Award.

The four Alabama commits are Jackson-Olin’s Quandarrius Robinson, Theodore’s Demouy Kennedy, Muscle Shoals’ Jackson Bratton and Drew Sanders from Ryan (Texas) High in Denton, Texas.’

NFL

  • Let’s start with the bad. Back in 2017, a woman filed an assault complaint against Jarran Reed. He was not charged by the DA; he was not suspended; and to-date no litigation has been filed.

Given those facts, and no other evidence aside from a he-said/she-said, what do you think Roger Goodell’s Wheel of Punishment dialed up? How about six games, some two-and-a-half-years later.

Jarran Reed for the first six games of the season after he was suspended by the NFL on Monday for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Reed may participate in preseason practices and games, but will not be available to the Seahawks until Oct. 14.

The suspension stems from an incident in April 2017. He was being investigated for assaulting a woman, who then filed an assault complaint. But Reed was not charged.

This is where I remind you that Tyreek Hill broke his son’s arm and Zeke Elliot again accosted someone in the offeseason. Both incidents were documented and/or have physical evidence...and both are available to play.

Reed disagrees with God-ell’s assessment obviously, but seems willing to accept it and just move along.

  • Robert Foster goes into his second training camp with the Bills as one of its starters and its undisputed home run threat. What a difference a year makes.
  • CJ Mosley almost single-handedly reset the salary mark for inside linebackers last year with his tremendously lucrative deal with the Jets. Now, he’s being asked to captain the defense and return his play to his Pro Bowl form.
  • One reason why the Falcons aren’t worried about a Julio Jones holdout? He probably already has a secret deal in place: The NFL requires a one-calendar-year time period between restructuring contracts. And Jones just had his deal redone on July 26, 2018. So, expect some news from Atlanta in a few days.
  • Derrick Henry deservedly cracked the NFL Top 100 Player list.
  • With Dak upset about his deal, and Elliot threatening a holdout, one player that is not rushing to get one done is Amari Cooper — he of the ungodly 77% catch rate and 9 scores down the stretch. He’ll get his — right after Julio upwardly adjusts the rising salary market for wideouts.
  • Speaking of Julio, with the addition of Calvin Ridley, the Falcons likely have the best wideout corps in the NFL.
  • From the same article, T.J. Yeldon will see a lot more touches in Buffalo, as the Bills now arguably have the deepest running back roster in the NFL.
  • He’s not alone, though: With Adam Gase’s departure to New York, the Fish is full tank mode, and the Dolphins running a variant of the Pats’ offense under Chad O’Shea, expect to see Kenyan Drake be more involved in the offense. Why that guy wasn’t getting 16-18 touches a game is beyond me.
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will open the season on the PUP list. He’s been very healthy throughout his career, but suffered an offseason conditioning injury to his knee.
  • Daron Payne is already giving back to his hometown community. But, he’s not alone: So is Landon Collins. In the case of Collins, he’s trying to plug himself into the Richmond area. And he’s not even played a snap with the Redskins.
  • Finally, speaking of Collins, he’s not shying away from those Washington expectations that have gone unfulfilled since Sean Taylor’s death in 2007. Instead, he wants to fill those same shoes as a hard-hitting playmaker on the ball.

Duke’s David Cutcliffe sees “an opportunity for Duke” against the Tide over the Labor Day weekend.

Ask anyone who was in the military what “an opportunity” means — it’s usually a very bad thing such as a thankless job or an insurmountable task.

And that sounds about right. This game is going to be fairly gruesome.

He’s getting dragged for this, but Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald is probably right: tech and television deals — and the quality of both — are probably driving down attendance to some degree:

“I think phones, I think technology has been the decline in attendance,” said Fitzgerald in a sentence that didn’t exactly make total sense on Friday. He later added that fans would “rather have 12 TVs set up in their TV watching cave than go to a game and experience the pageantry and tailgating.”

Forgot “rising costs” and “bad matchups,” TBH.

Finally, for locals: The iconic Cypress Inn on the Tuscaloosa riverfront has not only changed ownership groups (again), but has also suddenly laid off most of its staff as it moves to “a new concept.” The ole’ standby for romantic dining will be closed until at least September.
They’re gonna totally screw this up with some trend-chasing, right?