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Jumbo Package: Saban concerned about player anxiety caused by high expectations

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News Gary Cosby Jr. via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Happy Monday, everyone. Nick Saban’s comments after the second scrimmage are a little concerning.

“First of all, they read what you guys write,” Saban said. “They read that they’re supposed to be in the playoffs. They read that they’re No. 1. They read all these things that I’ve referred to this as ‘rat poison’ before. Alright, so that creates a lot of anxiety, and everybody thinks they have to elevate their game.”

He didn’t specify a side of the ball or any specific player here, but you have to assume that the young offense is feeling pressure to live up to the standard that has been created over the past few seasons. Last year’s group had so much swagger from having been there, and knew that they were going to win. This year the defense should be able to bring some of that.

Saban also spoke about Will Anderson, calling him the leader in havoc and a more complete player than last year. When asked about Jahleel Billingsley, he went on a rant about how “this isn’t a democracy” and mentioned how scouts are at practice every day watching how the players prepare themselves. It was a solid presser that I will embed at the bottom for you.

William Galloway reposted a gem.

Some of you wonder why we don’t like seeing this place called a message board. Message boards encourage any random person to post nonsense like what we see above, and if it is the most recent post or has the most recent engagement, it will be right at the top for all to see. Add to that the myriad of supposed “insiders” who spread rumors that gullible lemmings accept as fact, and you end up with a cesspool. We welcome fanposts over here and will promote good ones, but a message board we will never be.

Anyhow, speaking of Tua, he looked outstanding this weekend.

Against the Bears, Tagovailoa had completed 8-of-11 passes for 99 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Against the Falcons, Tagovailoa completed 16-of-23 passes for 183 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He directed touchdown drives of 75 yards on 11 plays and 66 yards on 11 plays on Miami’s first two possessions.

There is the caveat that Atlanta chose not to play any of its key players again, but he still executed his job effectively. Baldinger’s analysis is insightful.

Alabama really is taking over the NFL, y’all.

Just awesome.

Najee Harris looked eerily like an in-his-prime Le’Veon Bell on this play.

The feature back position in Pittsburgh is one of the most glamorous in the sport, and nobody deserves it more.

Alabama may be losing a GA permanently if Shy Carter keeps this up.

That was a great read and catch. Hopefully he makes the team.

Sadly, AJ McCarron blew out his ACL.

“I really feel for AJ McCarron,” Smith said. “Anytime something like that happens — it’s non-contact — it’s tough, when you know what these guys put into it. And so I feel for AJ. We’ll, obviously, get the MRI to confirm. He’s heartbroken. He had bounced back, and he was out there fighting, fighting for his team and trying to get the extra yards.

It has been confirmed. You have to wonder if this will be the end of the line for AJ. It hadn’t been a great showing for him anyway, and the next time he tries out for a backup job he will be a year older and coming off a major knee injury. He can make it back if he wants it bad enough, but that will be the question.

Last, Bryce Young got a mention in this WaPo editorial about NIL and female athletes.

Male athletes dance (badly) on TikTok, too. But no one is asking Young, who has a fraction of the social media following of either Cavinder twin, to purse his lips and play with his hair when he endorses a product. Until men get paid to primp in front of the camera and women’s stock blows up thanks to big games on the court and not just bikini photo shoots, this is not equality. This is not empowerment. This is simply advertisers placing less value on female athletic achievement and more on sex appeal.

Many examples are cited in the piece, and it is a valid point. Sex sells, and for the most part young women have to use their attractiveness to build their brands. Still, it’s a net positive that they now have opportunities to profit from their own likenesses, even if 80% of the NIL money has gone to football players.

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

Roll Tide.