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Jumbo Package: Saban looking to eliminate bad plays at A Day

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone. Softball got their weekend series against Mississippi State started in wild fashion, winning on a walk-off wild pitch. A win is a win, right? Unfortunately, the Gym Tide saw their season end with a last place finish in their national semifinal session. Still, just being there is quite an accomplishment.

As you are undoubtedly aware, A Day is tomorrow, and Saban wants to see better execution.

— Saban began by saying a focus this week was to eliminate bad plays from the last scrimmage. He named a variety of reasons about why there are bad plays, but said the focus in practice was to execute better. “I think the response has been, really, pretty good,” he said.

— Saban said the format for A-Day will be similar to the past with the first-team offense and second-team defense on one team, and the second-team offense and first-team defense on the other team. He said mis-matches can ruin the game and this is the best way to make sure the best players are playing against one another. “I think it’s more game-like, which is really the ultimate goal out of A-Day,” he said.

The national sportswriters are focusing on the transfer portal this spring.

“I don’t think our good players are going to be leaving, but I think we’ll be able to get some good players to join us when we have room to do that,” Saban predicted last April after the NCAA modified transfer rules.

Saban’s prophecy proved at least partially correct. Alabama has secured talented transfers, although not to the abundance of SEC peers like Ole Miss or LSU, but it also has lost “good players,” depending on one’s definition of the term.

Last year, To’o To’o and wide receiver Jameson Williams from Ohio State became pivotal additions. This year, the Crimson Tide added gems in cornerback Eli Ricks (LSU), wide receiver Jermaine Burton (Georgia), running back Jahmyr Gibbs (Georgia Tech) and offensive lineman Tyler Steen (Vanderbilt).

Nick Saban has been strategic when it comes to the transfer portal. Instead of going all out, he has utilized it more like the NFL does free agency, targeting specific needs. And, in what should be a surprise to exactly no one, he has landed some of the best players available. Remember LSU All-American cornerback Eli Ricks? He’s at Alabama now, effectively replacing Josh Jobe. How about Georgia Tech All-ACC running back/return specialist Jahmyr Gibbs? He’s at Alabama, too, filling in for Brian Robinson Jr. The Crimson Tide lost to Georgia in the CFP National Championship Game. A few weeks later, Saban signed the Bulldogs’ top receiver, Jermaine Burton, who should help make up for the loss of Jameson Williams and John Metchie. — Alex Scarborough

Riley Gates at 247sports has fully bought into the Aggie hype.

This is one of the biggest games of the college football season and everyone has it circled on their schedule. The Crimson Tide are projected to be the top team in the country, while the Aggies have plenty of hype to be SEC contenders this year. Assuming both teams are undefeated coming into this game, this could likely be the one that decides the SEC West and gives one team a legit playoff shot, while also making the other team’s chances very thin.

In an interesting twist, Ed Orgeron spoke to Notre Dame’s players and told them they will win a national title.

Notre Dame defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey said Orgeron spoke to the players on Tuesday and told them they’re like a “fist,” in that they are better together instead of five individuals spread out like fingers on an open hand.

“We’re all greater together,” Foskey said. “He was talking about the O-line, we saw an incident where one person went down, and everyone picked up and kept going, surrounded him. We’re better as a team.”

According to a video provided to ESPN of Orgeron speaking to the Fighting Irish, Orgeron told the players they’re going to win a national title.

“I don’t know when it’s going to happen,” he said, “but with this staff, and this team, you’re going to win it all.”

Last, this is a cool look at key 2022 signee Brandon Miller’s shooting stroke.

Folks, that is pretty. Combine that with outstanding ballhandling and passing ability for his size, and Miller has a chance to be special.

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

Roll Tide.