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Jumbo Package: Alabama football players’ message on unity, racial injustice gets overwhelming response

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Alabama Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. As you might surmise, response to yesterday’s video posted by Nick Saban and Alabama players has been immense. Michael Casagrande notes that it has been viewed nearly 2 million times on social media. He also has some backstory.

The idea came from a number of conversations in the past few weeks following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The football program held video calls with prominent Black voices including Condoleezza Rice, Charles Barkley and Stephen A. Smith and their message was clear: use your platform for positive change.

The leadership group of veteran players and other star players filmed their parts on Wednesday, and it was edited for release early Thursday afternoon.

To be frank, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about protests, riots, etc. that have taken place. Anyone who can’t be proud of these young men for coming together, listening to one another, and speaking out against injustice needs to do some soul searching.

I particularly liked this response, largely because former Chicago Bear Anthony Adams is hilarious.

Seriously, he is a funny follow on Twitter and his Youtube channel is also great. He most recently mocked coaches with too much energy on the first day of camp.

Moving on, Najee is looking to be more of a gamebreaker this season.

The difference this offseason came in the technique. Malu said he switched things up a bit, creating a series of single-leg exercises while also implementing a combination of upper and lower-body work during drills to provide both power and mobility.

“I feel like he’s back to his old self,” Malu said. “He’s really focused right now, making sure he stays mobile, stays agile. You’re going to see it in how he breaks long runs. I feel like he’s comfortable enough. Last season, we didn’t see many long runs, but I think now he has a clear mind… This year, I think it’s all going to come together. I think when we’re going to talk again, we are going to be like, ‘Dang, Najee won the Heisman.’”

NFL types told him that top end speed was holding him back. Lord help defenses if he improves in that area.

John Talty is saying the quiet part out loud.

“From a purely self-interested perspective, it’s probably correct to say I’d rather my whole team get sick right now so it’s less likely I get an explosive outbreak in September,” Binney said. “But that’s ghoulish, that’s horrible. You want to contribute to the spread of a global pandemic and you want your students to get sick when the chance they have a serious, long-term complication from not zero.”

Rutherford agreed with his own asterisk.

“I think it’s probably better, if they are going to be infected, to be infected now than later on when you’d have to sit out for a couple of weeks,” he said.

Where the experts take issue is believing in the inevitability that everyone will be infected.

The chance of complication is not zero, but it is near zero. I begrudge no player for wanting to avoid the chance altogether and take a year off, but the short answer to John’s headline question is “yes.” It is better for players to get it now than three months from now.

Last, Alabama added a walk-on QB.

“I’m looking at it as an academic first kind of thing,” Burnett said. “I’m not going to play at the next level. I’m looking to get a great education, make those great connections in an athletic department, with football coaches and experience (football) for one more season.”

During his time at Mississippi State, Burnett appeared in six games, two apiece in the 2017-19 seasons. He completed both of his career pass attempts for a combined 33 yards.

At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Burnett played his high school football at Bessemer (Ala.) Academy, where he led the Rebels to a perfect season in 2015, including their sixth AISA championship. He was named the 2015 Wendy’s High School Heisman for the state of Alabama.

One has to wonder if young Logan has an interest in coaching. I’m sure he has plenty of interest in getting an Alabama championship ring.

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

Roll Tide.