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Jumbo Package: Saban updates the running backs, wide receivers...and grows animated over many things

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NCAA Football: Alabama - A-Day
So good, he can make DBs transfer
Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama just feels off this season, and I don’t know if it’s a product of youth or inexperience or leadership or a new staff, but too many guys are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. From Will Anderson’s terrifying admission that the team should be concentrating more on game film and football rather than “other stuff,” to the disciplinary and off-field issues that have plagued Agiye Hall and Jahleel Billingsley.

But whatever the reasons, Saban senses the malaise:

Saban said Alabama is trying to “identify exactly what our passion is, what our spirit is.” He said there are players on the team with great character but passion is your “sense of purpose.”

And with respect to Hall and JB, he has gone full Disappointed-but-Encourgaing-Dad.

Saban said they would like to see Agiye Hall become a part of the offense because he has a lot of talent and ability, but there needs to be more consistency in performance on and off the field. “We try to get our guys to understand that that dependability is really important in their life for them to be successful, as well as in school to be successful, as well as in football to be successful.” Saban added Hall has been getting “better and better” and “hopefully he’ll be contributing sometime soon.”

That is outstanding news on both fronts. Jahleel seems to be crawling out of the doghouse. It was apparent the moment he stepped on the field that the Crimson Tide offense was better. But frankly getting Hall on the grass would be an even better step. He has so much potential; he looks like Baby Jeudy out there. He could be a dominating WR1 by season’s end, if he gets it together.

Let’s hope for ‘Bama’s sake, and his own, that Agiye does. He has far too much talent to diva it away.

Whatever those reasons may be, Nick is plainly tired of dumb questions that insinuate he doesn’t know that two of his best pass catchers have been on the bench:

“I think that — did any of you play sports? The coach is supposed to play the best players, right?” Saban said. “And then it’s up to the players to do what they’re supposed to do so they get to play. Because they become one of the best players. So that’s what he’s doing now.
But I don’t know, maybe if you didn’t play, that’s not something that you quite get. So to answer your question, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do.”

As if I didn’t have enough reason to dislike the Buffalo Bills team I’ve rooted for over the last three decades, we now add this: They broke Tua’s ribs.

Ugh.

We’ve discussed before B Rob’s limitations as a feature back, and particularly how Jase McClellan has underperformed relative to last season’s outstanding production. I think our general consensus is that someone with a more dynamic skill set (and preferably that be Trey) step up and grab the RB1 job.

So, we understand Tide 102.9’s point in this analysis, but I’m not sure we agree with the medicine for that diagnosis — that Jase needs to be that guy.

Robinson has performed admirably: 208 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries. The push for more carries for McClellan doesn’t stem from a lack of production on Robinson’s part. In fact, if Robinson still sees the bulk of the carries over McClellan should he see more touches, then that would be perfectly understandable.
At the end of the day, McClellan just needs the ball more. Through three games he’s proven in his play on the field he’s a playmaker. Unfortunately, having just 30 touches in three games has hampered his ability to contribute on a more consistent basis.

That much ballyhooed CFP expansion is facing a lot of unexpected pushback by the schools themselves; the final vote to even get it out of committed has been delayed.

To my mind, that’s the best off-field news I’ve heard in a while. I’ve been bitching about playoff creep since Year One, and now it is here. Anything that forestalls it — or kills it outright, is a net win in my books.

One issue that has particularly vexed me is asking unpaid college players to in effect assume a professional schedule, while juggling academics and everything else that come with being a college student. In particular, it seems as though absolutely no one is giving one kool-aid-covered-damn about these players’ safety.

That has emerged as a serious issue of contention between the stakeholders, among many disagreements.

Dennis Dodd has your story here:

Specific, significant issues have come to light. One high-ranking source tells CBS Sports that commissioners have yet to do their due diligence regarding student-athlete welfare when it comes to playing what could be a record 17-game season. Medical personnel has not been engaged properly to assess a team that would be playing two consecutive months without a break if it had an early-season bye week.

#BringBackTheBCS

Urban Meyer can’t stop recruiting for Alabama.

For the second time in two weeks, he’s compared the grind of an NFL schedule to that of facing the Crimson Tide.

“I don’t know Urban Meyer at all, really. I met him the other day, shook his hand before the game and after the game. And his comment to me was, ‘Every week it’s like playing Alabama in the NFL.’ You know? That’s it. Everybody’s capable of beating everybody in this league.”

LOL. Thanks, Corch Irvin Meyers!

How freaking good is King Henry?

That good.

We selected some of Coach Saban’s tastier lines above, but overall his Thursday final practice presser was one of the more animated ones of the season overall. From surly to passionate to calling out the team’s headspace, Saban didn’t hold back yesterday.

It wasn’t all negative Nancy or getting on guys. He singled out the backs for playing hard in the Swamp, and Will Anderson particularly for his “warrior mentality.” B Rob though, is day-to-day, so we will probably see a good bit of Jase and Trey this week, and on down the depth chart. If Roydell wants to make a dent in this lineup, now would be a very good time to show us something and pass someone.

“Trey Sanders is OK. If you’re asking about B-Rob, he’s day-to-day. There’s nothing wrong with Trey Sanders, so I don’t really understand the question. B-Rob played really well in the game, and Jase really played really well in the game, so it’s not like I sit there and say, ‘Everybody’s gonna play this many plays.’ When it comes to running backs, whoever’s playing well and has the hot hand, that’s who we’re gonna play. That’s how it’s always been around here. We’ve had some really good backs in the past that didn’t play in games that were third guys because the other two guys were rolling and playing good. So there was no plan to play him or not to play him. It’s just the way the game worked out.”

H/T to Charlie Potter over at 247 for giving us the presser in its entirety.

Interested in attending Alabama’s send-off to legendary Golf coach Conrad Rehling? It’s a little expensive for one person, but if you have a business that you can write this off on, it’s a good opportunity to schmooze on the links in a four-man scramble:

Finally, we leave you with this: Simple Jack remains one of the Internet’s favorite targets. Bless their heart.

Poll

Who should be RB1?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    B Rob
    (315 votes)
  • 10%
    Jase
    (91 votes)
  • 29%
    Trey
    (246 votes)
  • 1%
    Roydell
    (10 votes)
  • 6%
    A WILD CAMAR WHEATON APPEARS AND HE’S OFF THE TOP ROPE
    (53 votes)
  • 14%
    Just wing it and fling it. I rather liked those days of hitting 48 points before I had my third beer.
    (122 votes)
837 votes total Vote Now