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Jumbo Package: Latest practice reports, Mac Jones shines in NFL debut

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Washington Football Team v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone.

As part of our “Countdown to Kickoff” series, I posted about the dominant 1930 Alabama football team that won a national title in Wallace Wade’s final year. Not mentioned was the quarterback of the team, Lt. Hugh “Rose Bowl” Miller, Jr. His son Landon saw the post and reached out, noting that Miller is front row center in the team photo.

He also shared a website dedicated to his father, including a link to a biography available on Amazon for those interested. Years after quarterbacking the Tide to a national title, Miller would become a Navy hero in World War 2. His accolades, from the site:

Twice nominated for the Medal of Honor; awarded The Navy Cross, 2 Purple Hearts, Meritorious Service Medal; The Navy Cross in lieu of 2 Silver Stars, 6 Bronze Stars, all along with numerous campaign Medals

Landon is understandably proud of his father, as we all should be. A hearty Roll Tide to Lt. Miller’s family, and we appreciate his reaching out.

There wasn’t a whole lot to share from practice yesterday, but here’s what we’ve got.

Tight end Jahleel Billingsley was on the field, while defensive lineman LaBryan Ray (groin) and Braylen Ingraham were not.

A week into fall camp, Kendall Randolph continues to hold down the right tackle spot. He worked in a three-man positional drill with starting center Chris Owens and starting right guard Emil Ekiyor, so Randolph is holding off freshman JC Latham to this point.

Most Alabama fans have assumed that Randolph will end up back at blocking tight end, but thus far he has held down that right tackle spot. This might be the most intriguing battle to watch.

Everyone is impressed with Henry T.

Just watching To’o To’o in practice, he clearly has the high-energy motor Alabama desires at that position.

A 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, he’s the prototype for the modern middle linebacker just a decade after Dont’a Hightower patrolled the same space at 6-4, 260 pounds.

Not present for the 15 spring practices while finishing at Tennessee, the work ethic To’o To’o brought stood out with teammates.

Jaylen Moody is absolutely going to be part of the game plan after playing as he did last season and in the spring. With Christian Harris, Alabama has three outstanding veteran inside linebackers, which is a great problem to have.

Will Reichard was asked about the pressure of a perfect season.

But did Reichard see his scoreboard? Did he know he was chasing perfection during the 2020 run to a national title?

“It was in my head,” Reichard said Thursday before entering his junior season. “I knew about it, but at the end of the day, you’re only as good as your next rep. So you have to go out there and execute to the best of your ability.”

Reichard showed intestinal fortitude early on that is required of championship level kickers.

On the recruiting trail, the Tide lost a commitment from four-star RB Le’Veon Moss. His recruitment is far from over, but the Tide’s insane depth chart at the position isn’t going to help there.

We had some NFL exploits going on last night.

Eagles fans seem pleased with Hurts despite only completing 43% of his throws. There were two drops among his seven attempts. Meanwhile, Pats fans are ecstatic with Mac. Those two throws you see above were the only two downfield attempts, and both were strong. He executed the short passing game to near perfection, completing 13 of his 17 other attempts for 87 yards. Najee Harris ran just twice for 10 yards with the Steelers choosing to protect their franchise back, particularly since he attempted a hurdle on one of the two carries that didn’t go well.

Last, Bob Bowlsby is still trying to delay the inevitable.

Closing the revenue gap relative to the SEC and the Big Ten is important in the long run, no question. But the Pac-12 also needs to make sure USC stays satisfied, sources said, so that the conference doesn’t become at risk of losing its anchor the way the Big 12 just did.

There’s at least some thinking among decision-makers in the Pac-12 that they don’t need to expand and could even be better served trying to form a strategic alliance with the Big Ten and ACC. It’s unclear what form that sort of arrangement would take, but this is the kind of big-picture thinking that is suddenly required in light of the SEC’s big move.

It’s over, Bob. Let it go, and let your other schools start to shop for other opportunities.

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

Roll Tide.