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Jumbo Package: Offense adjusting well under new leadership

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. You probably saw Baylor whip Gonzaga in surprising fashion to take the NCAA Tournament title last night. The Bears were just too athletic and physical for the Zags to handle. Congratulations to them on their first ever title, especially former Alabama enrollee Jared Butler, who walked away with the Most Outstanding Player award. What might have been, eh?

The Fail Room was featured on a Jeopardy question last night.

Aaron Rodgers was a little stiff as the host. He reportedly wants to be a permanent in the role and believes he can juggle it with NFL duties, but I’m not seeing it.

Jaylen Moody appears to be well ahead in the linebacker race.

“Christian and I are very close,” Moody said. “He’s like my little brother out there. We hang a lot off the field as well as on the field. We talk about plays all the time, about how we could have done this better. I think the chemistry between two guys playing side-by-side is very important, [him] being able to know what I’m going to think on the field or me knowing what he’s going to do. How we play and react off each other is a good process of being a good player and having a good defense; everybody knowing how to play off each other and make plays off each other.”

He said he had most grown in “learning the game, the real nitty-gritty — coverages, the fronts, how to do my job; not getting too frustrated, but understanding what my assignment is and making the play when it comes to me.”

It would be wonderful if he took the bull by the horns and we had two experienced ILBs going through a full spring and fall to build chemistry.

The offensive players seem pleased with Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone.

“Part of it was being able to learn from a bunch of NFL coaches,” he said. “I feel like if I went into the draft this year, I might not have gone where I wanted to. So knowing that Coach Saban was going to bring in some really reliable guys who have some good experience, I feel like it would be just as good as going to the next level, because I could still get that same tutoring and I could learn those same lessons before I ultimately make that decision.”

O’Brien has also brought up past players. Last week, redshirt junior receiver Slade Bolden said the offensive coordinator spoke with him about his time with the New England Patriots and how he utilized Wes Welker and Julian Edleman out of the slot.

“Before we got into the offseason, getting him situated with the playbook, he mentioned some things like that — him working with those guys back in New England and he does see a little of those skill sets with me,” Bolden said. “So there are some attributes that he can put in the offense and hopefully help me with my skill set — be able to get open, different routes and stuff like that.”

All indications are that Owens is going to be the center unless he actively loses the job, and based on his performance in the Ohio State game, that seems unlikely. He emerged as a leader off the field last season and will look to carry that role into the games.

Todd McShay says that his sources agree with others on the Mac-to-San Fran smoke.

“Honestly, I’m fascinated to see where he goes,” McShay said, “and if he winds up in San Francisco, I think it’s a perfect spot for him since he has one of the best offensive minds in the game in Kyle Shanahan to help develop him quickly but if he winds up going to New England at No. 15 or somewhere else, we’ll see how that plays out.”

That said, he can see the mobile Lance fitting into the play-action-heavy 49ers attack so this is an inexact science. McShay, who admits he’s not a big stats guy, said there were a few numbers he couldn’t ignore with Jones. The three numbers he follows with quarterbacks include QBR while under pressure, when being blitzed and downfield accuracy.

Imagine telling someone last offseason that Mac Jones could conceivably be drafted ahead of Justin Fields. What a story.

Last, Mike Rodak has a great piece on Fluff’s relationship with Bryan Hodgson.

“He said to me, ‘Coach, I don’t ever want to leave here,’” Hodgson recalled. “He made a joke — and in true Fluff fashion, he had the most serious look on his face — and he looked at me and he said, ‘Coach, I just don’t understand why I just can’t marry an independently wealthy woman. Is that too much to ask? I’m not talking new money, I’m talking generational money.’

“He said, ‘I don’t want to work. I just want to go to all of the Alabama basketball games. Is that too much to ask?’ And he had this dead-serious look on his face. We were all laughing, because we knew deep down he was serious.

“He had zero plans of leaving this town after he graduated. He said this is home, which is awesome.”

That young man certainly made his mark. Our own Roger Myers made a radio appearance to speak about his legacy as well.

That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.