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Jumbo Package: Was a transition to the 3-3-5 Stack defense Saban’s plan for Pete Golding all along?

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If so, that’s some 5-D chess

NCAA Football: Alabama A Day Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Landon Dickerson, already a fan favorite in Philadelphia, decided to go full hayseed and it was glorious. Even better, knowing him, it was authentic.

Mac Jones had himself quite the game last night, impressing everyone with his performance — and it could have been much better had N’Keal Harry not dropped an absolute dime on a 50-yard rainbow.

Still, Cam Newton shook off the rust and performed as well as Jones, trying to lock down that veteran starting QB role. But it’s going to be very hard to keep Jones off the field with preseason performances like this.

In Bama’s new-look receiving corps, we tend to forget that Alabama brought in Buckeye reserve slot-man Jameson Williams this year. And, somewhat surprisingly, he’s not just a depth player either — Saban expects Williams to actually be featured heavily in the offense.

This would be cool if it works out — John Petty’s G-League home could be in Birmingham.

One of Alabama’s starters from its run to the Sweet 16 could be playing close to home this winter.

Guard John Petty, who was not selected in last month’s NBA draft, will participate in camp with the NBA G-League’s Birmingham Squadron, his former coach Nate Oats said.

“Petty will be playing in the New Orleans G-League team, too,” Oats said during his radio show Thursday night. “He’s in camp with them and he’ll be with their G-League team.”

Maybe being closer to home will help transition him to semi-pro ball, rather than being carted off to Cedar Rapids or Fresno and trying to learn in a foreign land.

UGA was already a thin team entering 2021, but this preseason has not been kind, with the ‘Dawgs suffering wave after wave of injuries. And with just over two weeks until No. 5 UGA meets No. 3 Clemson, Kirby is down two more starters, including Darnell Washington (TE), one of the bright spots on a receiving corps that could suffer few losses.

One of the injuries to insults is not only losing the Alston case, but then being forced to pay pay attorneys fees for litigation that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Ouch.

The SEC and Big 10 will each pony up $2.5 million of the $24 million total.

Standing on principle protecting a monopoly is expensive, y’all.

The development of Bryce Young’s headspace has been as much of a story this offseason as his improvement on the field; and I would argue it’s actually the much bigger part of his development. Whatever happened in high school doesn’t matter now — he’s committed to winning the team on the field.

Good story with loads of quotes here.

“There obviously are expectations, but regardless of what happened in high school are any past experiences I’ve had, coming to Bama is where you come for pressure and come for expectations,” Young said. “Everyone here when they signed on the dotted line and decided to come here we knew it was going to come with expectations. Saban sets that standard for us immediately during recruiting and when we step into the building, so it’s not something I was blindsided by, and, honestly, I don’t think it’s something that is unique to me.”

But Young’s maturity has always impressed coaches. So, even when being feted with seven-figure NIL deals, Young has handled the sudden influx of cash very well.

Also helpful has been Alabama’s culture, which simply brooks no outsized egos and individual goals which sublimate the team concept.

Saban is worried about the team chemistry being disrupted, of course. But if all 85 think like Bryce, the Tide should be in good shape.

“For us, we all know that whatever happens externally for any person doesn’t really have anything to do with our goal and what we’re working towards,” Young said. “For us, we keep the main thing the main thing. We know everyone has to show up to work each day.

“For us, between these lines in the building it’s all about how we can get better, how we can push ourselves and how we can improve. I think our whole team is bought into that, that’s something that Saban has instilled in us for a long time now. For us we’re just trying to work harder and harder each and every day and improve on what we can improve on.”

Alabama is about to join Ole Miss as the only 100% vaccinated squad in the SEC — the Tide is just one dude short of that number.

Absolute gem of an interview with Ozzie Newsome here on a wide range of topics, including Notre Dame vaulting ‘Bama for the national title, how the wishbone made receivers better at winning one-on-win battles in the passing game, and more.

How loaded is the Alabama secondary? Brian Branch is dusting off his best Minkah Fitzmagic impression, and has practiced playing every position in the secondary in camp.

Finally, for you Xs and Os nerds curious about ways to stop the spread, one that is arising more frequently is the 3-3-5 stack. The Stack was popularized by Joe Lee Dunn (among others), but it has never really gone away. TCU’s Gary Patterson is famously a 3-3-5 guy. Alabama showed a lot of stack looks last season, as well.

And, now that I think about it, you know who else came from the 3-3-5 and 4-2-5 tradition? Ummm...Pete Golding. I remember writing about it four years ago.

Maybe this has been Saban’s plan with Golding all along, and the Tide has been recruiting to get to this point — with 2021 being the unveiling of the new-look Alabama defense? Can it be incorporated seamlessly into the Cover 7 and Pattern Match C3 schemes that Saban already invented?

If so, then a whole lot of hot takes are going to require retraction, eh?

Finally, in today’s miscellany, please enjoy this baby alpaca giving a hairless kitten an ear rub. It’s the most bizarrely adorable thing on the internet.

Poll

With Alabama increasingly playing 3-3-5 schemes, was that Nick Saban’s plan all along for Pete Golding?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    The cagey codger got us again — Saban is playing 5D Chess.
    (342 votes)
  • 24%
    If it wasn’t originally, it appears to be now.
    (189 votes)
  • 8%
    Nah. Saban can give up many things, but not his defense; not ever.
    (69 votes)
  • 22%
    Uncertain. Let’s see how 2021 plays out first.
    (170 votes)
770 votes total Vote Now