Happy St. Patty’s Day Y’all!!
A little early for football you say? Oh Heck Naw! Not around here!
Yesterday the Crimson Tide held their first spring practice. So that means…after a much needed break for the players, (not that there ever is a break in Saban’s program because there isn’t) it’s time to start talking about football season!
It’s only 166 days away for the Tide ya know, a girl has to plan!
It was a big day for the group, they welcomed some new players, even some new coaches! Yesterday was a mesh of the seasoned players and the newbies. So let’s take a closer look at how this team is starting to come together (this is by no means a full list, just a highlight of what is yet to come):
New Coaching Staff: secondary Coach Greg Brown , assistant head coach and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal and wide receivers Coach Billy Napier. Impressive.
Newbies: Three new quarterbacks; Luke Del Rio, Cooper Bateman and Parker McLeod, offensive lineman Brandon Hill (who we apparently snaked from the Ole Miss Rebels and they are not too happy about it, I am sure I will have more on this little scandal later) and Leon Brown, running back Derrick Henry and wide receiver Raheem Falkins along with OJ Howard at tight end and defensive back Jai Miller.
Returning Players: The offense returns six starters with AJ McCarron still manning the ship, his companions Amari Cooper, Kevin Norwood and Christion Jones, all wide receivers that if you have been reading my blog, you should know very well. Who will step in to replace the great Eddie Lacy? TJ Yeldon is ready! Also returning on the offensive line is left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and right guard Anthony Steen. To have both guards coming back for a seasoned quarterback is huge. Why? Both are very important positions as these are the guys responsible for keeping the heat off AJ so that he can sit back, relax and make a play happen. As we know, when AJ has time, he can make the plays that win games. It’s a team effort ladies, we cannot forget this! I have a feeling this year we will be seeing more leaders emerge.
Who’s left on defense? One of my personal favorites, CJ Mosley and fellow linebacker Adrian Hubbard along with Geno Smith poised to step into starting cornerback.
Much remains to be seen about how Saban will mix in the old with the new and create his super star team. There was some switching up during practice, putting players in different positions, just working the pieces of the puzzle. I think there is enough stability and leadership still there to help guide the new guys. Will it be another Championship year? That remains to be seen and it’s way too early to be discussing that now. I know that for anyone to expect a third straight year is asking a lot of anybody, especially a group of young men.
I will say this: If anyone can do it, Saban can.