Happy Tuesday, everyone. The Tide returned to practice last night and there was a big returnee.
-- DJ Dale was working with the defensive line in a crimson full-contact jersey. He was held out of the scrimmage as a precautionary measure as he recovers from a minor injury.
-- Fellow defensive lineman Stephon Wynn, out for a few weeks, was spotted in a black non-contact jersey wearing a walking boot.
Great news here. Dale seized first team reps right off the bat in the spring, and there is little reason to think that he won’t get the nod against Duke if he’s ready to go.
Of course, this is Alabama football camp, so for every bit of good news, there has to be some bad news.
Freshman inside linebacker Christian Harris was not participating in individual drills with the rest of the ILBs. He was the first-team Will linebacker next to Dylan Moses during Saturday’s scrimmage. Other reporters saw Harris being tended to by medical staff and walking gingerly. If he’s limited, the team has only five scholarship ILBs healthy. Fellow freshman Shane Lee took Harris’ spot next to Moses.
Why wouldn’t the bug bite what appeared to be the breakout player of the last scrimmage? Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like this is anything terribly serious. Hopefully Harris will be available in time to play in the opener. I think everyone is excited to see him in action at this point.
Alabama’s secondary should be much improved.
The last three games saw Alabama give up an average of 318 yards for 15 yards per completion with eight touchdowns allowed.
The national title game with Clemson clearly stood out with Alabama giving up 347 passing yards, three touchdowns and two plays over 60 yards (62, 74).
You don’t have to remind senior defensive back Trevon Diggs.
“It happened. You learn from your mistakes,” Diggs said on Monday.
Poor Trevon’s only mistake was getting hurt. He was missed in a bad way. ESPN has a new CFB analyst and he’s high on the Dawgs.
“Close” describes Georgia in its games the last two seasons with Alabama. The Bulldogs led the Crimson Tide in the second half of both the 2017 national title game and the 2018 SEC championship game, only to see Alabama rally behind a back-up quarterback — Tua Tagovailoa the first year, Jalen Hurts the second.
However, whatever gap their might have been between the two programs prior to 2017 no longer exists, Barrie said.
“They’re there,” Barrie said. “There’s no close — they’re there. If you look at two years ago, they should have won the national championship, and then the Tua thing happened. They were every bit as good in the SEC championship (in 2018) and probably should have won that one, and then Jalen Hurts happened. They just need to finish games. Talent-wise, it’s there. Jake Fromm’s an NFL quarterback. D’Andre Swift is going to be a Heisman candidate. They have the skill to compete, now it’s just about finishing.”
The Tua thing is still happening, Hoss.
Of course, the Tua thing drove Jalen Hurts to Oklahoma, and Mike Locksley says he wants to BEAT BAMA.
“I’m sure in the back of Jalen’s mind, he would like to see the Oklahoma-Alabama matchup happen,” says Maryland coach Mike Locksley, who was Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2018 – and who badly wanted Hurts to transfer to Maryland. “I think that came into play when he made the decision to go there.”
I don’t know how to tell you this Mike, but Jalen didn’t go to Maryland because it’s an assy program. No player worth anything is going to spend his final season in College Park.
Last, Forbes describes Saban as a pragmatic leader.
Employees working for the Pragmatist are typically at higher risk of burnout and low employee engagement than those working for a leader with a Diplomat leadership style. It can tough for many to maintain the high-intensity environment typical of the Pragmatist and that can mean shorter employee tenures.
But the plus of this is that when employees quit working for the Pragmatist, they’re often well positioned to take higher-level positions somewhere else. And it’s because of the intense learning experiences that working for a supremely talented Pragmatist can provide.
Considering his age, Saban is inevitably somewhat old school. He is still willing to outwork everybody else, and expects his subordinates to do the same, with daily execution of The Process as the lone measuring stick. It’s not for everyone.
That’s about it for today. Have a great workday.