Welcome to fall practice, and welcome to the mob mentality that follows! As the Tide took to the practice field Saturday, news quickly began to spread around the internet that prized left tackle Cam Robinson had been carted of the field, a “broken foot” being the reason. Some message boards even declared he was out for the season.
You can see why Alabama head coach Nick Saban hates misinformation, and false biographies.
Robinson did, in fact, becoming injured in Saturday’s practice, but his broken foot got better between Saturday and this morning, where Saban announced the sophomore lineman had suffered a sprained knee, and would be day-to-day for the coming practices. Kind of reminds me of this gem:
Saban’s not asking my opinion, but I’d be fine with Robinson riding a stationery bike during practice until the Tide’s September 5th opener in Dallas.
Robinson had a good laugh about it himself. “Yeah, I heard stuff about my foot, it wasn’t even my foot. I heard some people saying stuff about broken foot, but it was just rumors. It wasn’t anything true about my foot or anything about that.”
Public interest is what drives Alabama football. It’s also what drives fanaticism to the point rumors are born, and spread. For now, this one can be put to rest.
Saban this morning also suggested that junior linebacker Reuben Foster’s tackling technique had gotten a lot better. Foster is a heat-seeking missile, but has had the tendency to do himself in with the reckless abandon he has for his body when playing the game. Maybe you remember this…
No doubt Leonard Fournette does. Foster is an animal, the old timey headhunter college football used to have by the dozens. The guy you never wanted to be squared up with in tackling drills in practice. If you played football on any level, you remember that guy. If Foster can straighten his technique out, Reuben will bring the pain on many an offensive player this season.
Tide Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin, in a rare interview, said Tide receiver/athlete Ardarius Stewart was “probably the most talented guy that we have,” and that incoming freshman receiver Calvin Ridley had elite talent. Being tough and physical was the identity Kiffin outlined for the offense, underscoring what Saban said he wanted for the Tide’s offensive line. Kiffin wouldn’t elaborate on the quarterback situation, but did say too much was expected of Jacob Coker last year, the comparison being an NFL QB who holds out and doesn’t go through spring practice.
Kiffin also addressed the reasons he returned to Tuscaloosa, praising Saban and the opportunity to continue learning the process while a part of his staff.
Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart, also in a rare interview, suggested concern about depth at safety, but then listed five able bodies able to step in and compete for the job this fall. Smart also talked about calling then Ohio State coordinator Tom Herman following the Sugar Bowl loss to the Buckeyes. Herman, now the head coach at Houston, was helpful, according to Smart, offering scouting perspective on the Tide for improvement.
Smart described outside linebacker Rashaan Evans as extremely fast, and a natural rusher who is extremely hard to block. He said he and his staff have studied the Auburn and Ohio State games thoroughly in the offseason to correct the mistakes, which boiled down to good (opposing) quarterback play and an inability to be physical enough to stop the run game. “Make no mistake, Auburn and Ohio State are not spread teams, as much as you call them spread, they’re not. They run counter, they run power, they run right at you.” Smart said those games were studied in the offseason because “that’s how people are going to attack us this season.”
After an open practice to the public today inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, players and coaches will be made available for autographs in the Tide’s annual Fan Day. See today’s coaches interviews here: