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Jumbo Package: Nate Oats and family “love it here” despite the trolls

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Alabama Spring Game Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Happy Monday, everyone. Weekend recap:

Of course, the men’s basketball team had an awful day in Missouri, putting the final nail in the coffin of any NCAA tournament at-large hopes. Because social media is mostly awful, a ridiculous rumor started about Nate Oats’ family not adjusting well to Tuscaloosa, not being happy, etc. It was enough that Nate’s oldest daughter felt the need to chime in.

Rest assured, Alexandra, that Alabama supporters with any sense at all are fully behind your dad and appreciate his efforts. This team was ravaged by injuries from the start, and the one to John Petty was simply the final straw. John played hard on Saturday, but he clearly wasn’t right and didn’t make a single basket. In hindsight, perhaps it would have been better to sit him, but with a bench as thin as this one that is a tough call to make.

Of course, Herb Jones is already playing with one arm, Alex Reese has hip issues that Nate said back in January would need addressed in the offseason, and neither James Rojas nor Juwan Gary played a single minute this season thanks to severe knee injuries. If Nate can get everyone to return, they should be much better next season. The depth that Rojas, Gary, and Jahvon Quinerly would have provided this season would likely have paid big dividends.

Alas, there is still basketball to be played, and until they are knocked out in Nashville, there are still slim hopes to go dancing.

“It was a disappointing defensive effort in the second half,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said after Sunday’s game. “We just have to put it behind us. We’ll take Sunday off and try to get as healthy as we possibly can by Thursday.”

Alabama has finished as either the No. 9 or No. 10 seed in the league tournament for six of the past seven years. The Crimson Tide has won at least one game in the tournament in each of the past four years.

Alabama has won at least one game in the last four years, and Kentucky has been the team to eliminate the Tide in each of those seasons. Should the Tide prevail against the Vols, guess who waits in round two?

In football news, Saban added another analyst.

Biffani was with Jimbo in Tallahassee as well. I have no idea what prompted this move, but he becomes the 12th analyst on the staff.

Bryce Young seems to be adjusting well.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Young will step into the quarterback competition ready to learn and contribute.

“Really for me it’s just whatever the coaches ask of me. I’m just trying to get better and push myself to be the best I can,” Young said.

He said Alabama provides seemingly endless support to help get new players up to speed.

“Really when you go to college I feel like there’s so much more resources to kind of help you with that,” Young said. “There’s GAs (graduate assistant coaches) to kind of help you with that when the coaches are busy and not around. There’s film rooms you can go. And there’s the dining hall that’s there for every meal.”

Alabama has an incumbent in Mac Jones that, based on his play, is going to be tough to supplant. They also have Bryce Young who, based on what we know of his ability, is going to be tough to keep off the field.

That is a good place to be. Play them both, Nick.

Jalen Hurts went on Outside the Lines to speak about his career.

“Me being emotional, what good would that have done to the guys around me? The joy of being able to hold up a national championship trophy and achieve that goal as a team regardless of how I got there, it’s a joyful moment.”

As far as Tagovailoa, Hurts said he is still close with former teammate.

“I mean, that’s a relationship that will never go away or die down,” Hurts said. “I talked to him and kept in touch with him all year. I’m pulling for him as always.”

The full interview is about five minutes and it’s available at the link.

Last, Damien Harris may find a bigger role in New England this season.

White, Burkhead and Bolden are entering the final seasons of their contracts. Michel’s contract has two years remaining plus a team option for the 2022 season. Harris is under contract through 2022.

New England ranks 19th among the 32 NFL teams for the money they can spend before hitting the salary cap. Releasing Bolden would give the Patriots another $1,487,500. Cutting Burkhead would yield a $2,906,250 savings.

They seem pleased with his work this season, and cutting some of that fat from the payroll would be prudent for other positions. Hopefully he gets a good look in 2020.

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

Roll Tide.