The big story this morning was Jake Coker on an Alabama practice field in an Alabama jersey. Coker looks like he belongs on an NFL roster, with sound throwing mechanics, a 6’4″ frame and strong arm. It’s easy to see what the buzz has been all about the transfer QB from FSU who at best looks to win the job, and at worse share it with the dual threat specialist, Blake Sims.
Another storyline was the surprise emergence of CB Eddie Jackson, who was having a strong spring before suffering a knee injury. Jackson took part in drills during the early media viewing period, and was dressed in a crimson (not a black, no contact) jersey. There is plenty of talent from which to choose in the Tide’s defensive backfield, but if Jackson is ready to go early in the fall, Bama may have two solid lock-down corners in Jackson and freshman phenom Tony Brown.
In other notes, Tide receiver Chris Black was wearing the #1 jersey, thought to be reserved on offense for incoming freshman runningback Bo Scarborough. Black wore #5 last season. Scarborough’s academics will apparently keep him from enrolling until January, though Alabama head coach Nick Saban said an appeal is in place with the NCAA to get him in school now.
The Tide’s receiving corp is sick (Dad, if you’re reading this, that’s good). If there is a team in college football with a better group of receivers than Amari Cooper, DeAndrew White, Christion Jones, Robert Foster, Chris Black, Raheem Falkins and Cam Sims I’d like to see them…Foster may be the best of the bunch.
On personnel notes, per Saban, RG Leon Brown will miss a couple of weeks with a foot injury. Running back Kenyon Drake was dressed and going through drills, but Jarran Reed, Tim Williams and Brandon Ivory are all suspended indefinitely.
See photos and video of Coker, new Tide OC Lane Kiffin and Eddie Jackson for yourself below, courtesy of TideSports.com, WVUA and TiderInsider.com.
PHOTOS: 8/1 First Day of UA Fall Football Practice – Images by Tuscaloosa News | TideSports Photo
(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)
I’m anxious to see how the QB situation pans out. I can envision both QBs splitting time, but that usually is not the best thing for offensive consistency. However, it can work. The 2006 Florida Gators, SEC and BCS champs, utilized both Chris Leak and Tim Tebow effectively.
Another position to watch will be at inside linebacker. Will Reggie Ragland live up to his potential? Or will Reuben Foster be the main guy alongside Trey DePreist?
And as far as receivers go…don’t forget tight end OJ Howard. I’m hoping opposing defenses will be so focused on the wide receivers that they get burned by Howard.
Our defense will be tested early by West Virginia. The season is almost here! RTR
At LB, don’t forget about Ryan Anderson. Dude looks as thick and fit as a dessert rattlesnake.
I’m with you Hunter——OJ Howard I thought was going to be at least given some attention by now, if not heralded. He’s another weapon in an arsenal at the Capstone, but he’s definitely underexposed and, to me, it’s almost unexplainable. Maybe that will change once we start playing football, but the report sounds good.
I’m sure opposing coaches (especially at LSU) are more than aware of OJ. I’m hoping however, that whether they are prepared or not OJ will burn some folks. If opposing DBs are scrambling to cover our WRs OJ could be a very good “not so secret” weapon.
Oh and kickers and punters. I understand FG kicking looked weak at A-Day. We need to make those Three-pointers this year!
The problem is we’ve had good kickers.
Sorry, no, we’ve had great kickers.
Their errors have been definitive. We couldn’t have asked much more out of our kickers the last 5 years, they just had too many mistakes all at the worst possible times. They were champions, no doubt about that.
I think they’ll be hard to replace. But who knows? Maybe Saban and Kiffin will simply be strategizing to score more points in the air? Who knows. It’s definitely a concern but we’ve done well with our kickers under Saban.
beat everybody by 30+
I hope so (remember 2011?), and yet I still expect near-total balance.
Look, Saban doesn’t scheme. He plays football. He builds balanced, fundamental football teams. We MAY have a stellar QB and an incredible receiving corp, but we’re always going to keep the ball on the ground too when it comes to balance.
What I’m hoping, and possibly expecting, is that we’ll have the same strategic balance of offensive plays this season, only we may see more big plays in the air and perhaps even on options. I don’t think the strategy changes as much as the weaponry, and call me a homer gump, but dammit it feels good to think about after watching the little bit of footage.
Old man Synder is going to put a Hurtin on the Gus Bus
If Alabama’s Oline(which nobody’s talking about) plays great, then it’s 25 point per game routs. Saban will not Spurrier(floor) it and will not allow a classless move like that. It would be different if you’re in the NFL(where players/coaches are both paid and are men), Spurrier. Though, it could be more than 25 points–if the Oline plays great. The Oline must be some kind of good, because nobody’s talking about the elephant in the room. Everybody’s talking about everything else; even though, the Oline and Dline are the most important. To me, the Oline is the most important, because it is the talent neutralizer for Alabama. What will Yeldon and Henry be without any push? How will Cooper and company get the ball, if Coker’s getting harassed back there? If the Oline is clicking, any of the 4 QB’s that Alabama has could start. If you knew that the Oline or Dline and the K play great this year, then you can give Alabama the championship before the season starts. My opinion. Someone comment on the Oline, because that’s one of two ways that Alabama will win a title. And the Oline–believe me–is the most pleasurable route.
Yes, the O Line and D line are very crucial for all the reasons you mentioned. We need some good consistent play on both lines.
The Oline was extremely talented last year, and yet it was our achilles heel. Even with the injuries and inexperiencr in the secondary we still would have won the National Title if the Olibe had blocked on those 3rd and 4th down plays in the IB.Even in the Sugar bowl if Cyrus had blocked his man AJ would have had two less interceptions, one less fumble, and a lot more completed passes. That’s what is bothering me about this Oline – Arie is not as good as Cyrus, and in fact down right stunk in several games and center, well let’s just say that our best center now plays for Ohio St. Take away luck and injuries and in my opinion this years success depends on the performance of the Oline and necessary improvement from Arie and the center position.
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“Coker looks like he belongs on an NFL roster, with sound throwing mechanics, a 6’4″ frame and strong arm”…, so all Coker had to do was to put on a black jersey in an Alabama practice…, his FIRST, Alabama practice, and he “steals the show”? WOW! To only be Jacob Coker!
If that isn’t the stupidest thing I have seen in my 57 years of being “into” college football.
yall must not have seen the same video of coker from friday that i did! mediocre at best and yes im a Bama fan!
ITK’s “commentary” is a joke. He doesn’t know a 5 foot drop from a 7. Coker will be the man, but “stealing the show” is a bit rediculous. RTR and ITK don’t know s***
I constantly spent my half an hour to read this website’s content every day along with a
cup of coffee.