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Jumbo Package: Developing WR depth is the key for 2022

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Bill Connelly put out his “returning production” rankings, and Alabama is 65th thanks to the number of starters returning on defense.

As mentioned, the formula I use changes from year to year. Here’s the current weighting for determining the offensive percentages above:

Percent of returning WR/TE receiving yards: 37% of the overall number

Percent of returning QB passing yards: 29%

Percent of returning OL snaps: 28%

Percent of returning RB rushing yards: 6%

The main issue will be replacing the starting WRs. As Alex Scarborough notes, developing depth that that position is likely the Tide’s biggest need headed into the season.

Granted, no one could have foreseen both John Metchie III and Jameson Williams being sidelined by major injuries, but their absence against Georgia in the national championship game revealed a lack of established playmakers at receiver for 2022. Ja’Corey Brooks, JoJo Earle, Agiye Hall and Traeshon Holden are all talented options at the position, but their inexperience showed against the Bulldogs. With Metchie, Williams and Slade Bolden off to the NFL, along with the departure of Javon Baker via the transfer portal, Alabama needs someone to step up. The addition of Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton should help in that regard, but depth is necessary to have the kind of well-rounded passing game the Crimson Tide have become accustomed to. — Alex Scarborough

Hopefully there will be several ready to go among the young guys. Alabama signed four of the top 15 WRs in the 2021 class and three of the top 12 in the 2022 class, not counting Burton.

Elite OT Elijah Pritchett is ready to compete.

“I really like to compete,” Pritchett said. “That’s what sets me apart from everybody else. I mean, I just love to compete and hate to lose. It doesn’t matter who I go against, I’m always trying to better myself. I’m always trying to figure out in my head how I’m going to beat the person standing in front of me.”

Pritchett won’t join the Crimson Tide for another three and a half months, but he’s already receiving a few pointers from a future teammate in rising junior Javion Cohen. Pritchett refers to Cohen as his mentor and said the starting left guard has already warned him of the hard workouts ahead of him at Alabama.

There are certainly jobs available, though it will be tough for a summer enrollee.

Luke Fickell thinks his Cincinnati team was unprepared to face Bama.

“Maybe emotionally, we didn’t do a good enough job — I didn’t do a good enough job — of preparing us,” Fickell said in an interview with Ivan Maisel of On3 Sports. “We were in good position, but we didn’t execute. I think it might have been a little bit of the big stage, a bit of the jitters.”

Looked to me like you were just overmatched, coach, but I get why you wouldn’t want to say that.

Last, Josh Gattis is moving to Miami and he’s all up in his feelings.

Gattis has already texted his players and informed them that he’s leaving, a source told ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren. In a text to some Michigan players, Gattis said, “Unfortunately the past few weeks has told a different story to me about the very little appreciation I have here from administration. In life I would never advise anyone to be where they are not wanted ...”

Gattis made $1.2 million in 2021, but apparently that wasn’t enough appreciation for him. Good luck, Mario.

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

Roll Tide.