| FTBL CECIL HURT: A few post-A-Day observations - TideSports.com

TerryP

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Your minutes always depend on just how good the starters ahead of you. We learned about Keith Holcombe when he HAD to start. I believe I have read that Josh is a very smart guy but that doesn't mean he has football savvy. Then again you might understand Nick's system as well if not better than any player on the field but if you don't have the ability to make the play then you're in trouble.

We'll see.
Personally, I discovered what people didn't know about Keith Holcombe. Following his start, I also discovered what people refused to learn about Keith. How often did you see people mention how much he was struggling with his metabolism and diabetes at the time? How often did you see people refer to his physical condition; football wise? A quote, "Keith was held together with duct tape and fishing line for that game." Yes, he was slower getting to his gaps. But, he was there. Afterwards we all heard about how people viewed him that game without any mention of his physical condition.

When it comes to Josh and his football savvy, he's been praised by the staff. The terminology used has varied but all revolved around being a "program guy." He knows his role and knows his assignments. While people complained about run fits last season you didn't see that problem with Josh. We never have. On the other hand, we haven't seen his ability to cover out of the backfield. We had our first glimpse of that Saturday—a big improvement there.
 

TUSKtimes

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Personally, I discovered what people didn't know about Keith Holcombe. Following his start, I also discovered what people refused to learn about Keith. How often did you see people mention how much he was struggling with his metabolism and diabetes at the time? How often did you see people refer to his physical condition; football wise? A quote, "Keith was held together with duct tape and fishing line for that game." Yes, he was slower getting to his gaps. But, he was there. Afterwards we all heard about how people viewed him that game without any mention of his physical condition.

When it comes to Josh and his football savvy, he's been praised by the staff. The terminology used has varied but all revolved around being a "program guy." He knows his role and knows his assignments. While people complained about run fits last season you didn't see that problem with Josh. We never have. On the other hand, we haven't seen his ability to cover out of the backfield. We had our first glimpse of that Saturday—a big improvement there.

Spring ball is not exactly what our defense is going to be seeing this season. Golding talks about disguises that we struggled with. If we are going to take away the first reads of these QBs we are going to need guys smart enough to do it. If that player is McMillon he should have been playing last year as well.
 

TerryP

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Spring ball is not exactly what our defense is going to be seeing this season.
A a receiver out of the backfield, or coming off the line, isn't something the defense is going to be seeing this fall? He was on Lata like he was his second skin. That's something you can take away from spring camp. It's no different than watching a guy during a run stop. If they are stopping forward progress and not allowing the ball carrier to fall forward it doesn't matter if it's in practice. It's a skill set.

In both areas he did well Saturday.

We've all agreed there's very little you can take from scrimmages when it comes to some aspects of the game. Tackling and man coverage on passing routes are two that you can observe and evaluate.
 

TerryP

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On another note, there is one position I believe we can chalk up to being won since January: DT in regular. The natural speculation was we'd see Mathis slide inside. What we've seen is Dale come in better prepared for the college game than a lot suggested. (I'll give this to Tim Watts, he was pushing Dale as underrated and a 5 star guy for awhile now.) It's not a knock on Mathis either. It's just a kid coming in under rated in the view of a lot of folks.
 

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A a receiver out of the backfield, or coming off the line, isn't something the defense is going to be seeing this fall? He was on Lata like he was his second skin. That's something you can take away from spring camp. It's no different than watching a guy during a run stop. If they are stopping forward progress and not allowing the ball carrier to fall forward it doesn't matter if it's in practice. It's a skill set.

In both areas he did well Saturday.

We've all agreed there's very little you can take from scrimmages when it comes to some aspects of the game. Tackling and man coverage on passing routes are two that you can observe and evaluate.
Not sure what part of my comment you're disagreeing with? And as far as how Bama played defense, it wasn't so much the problem with more traditional offenses like Georgia, it was the heavy read option/hurry up stuff that gave us fits.
 

TerryP

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Not sure what part of my comment you're disagreeing with? And as far as how Bama played defense, it wasn't so much the problem with more traditional offenses like Georgia, it was the heavy read option/hurry up stuff that gave us fits.
Why would you assume a reply is a disagreement?

So, just to be clear, I didn't see that much of an issue with the run defense last year either (with the exception of one game.) However, I did see—often—the defense stopping the run but allowing the ball carrier an extra yard or two (falling forward on tackles.) That's something we've not seen out of the majority of Saban's defenses in his tenure here.
 

TerryP

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On another note,
And another for good measure ...

One thing we can take away from spring camp is the physicality of a defense. From what I've seen it's a defense that's going to hit people. They're taking that to another level versus last season.
 

mando

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I did see—often—the defense stopping the run but allowing the ball carrier an extra yard or two (falling forward on tackles.) That's something we've not seen out of the majority of Saban's defenses in his tenure here.
@TerryP based on your comment would you agree last years Defense was not up to the bama standard? I think it was the lowest rated D under Saban.
 

TerryP

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@TerryP based on your comment would you agree last years Defense was not up to the bama standard? I think it was the lowest rated D under Saban.
That question brings up personal feelings—subjective thoughts.

I've never been a fan of "see ball, get ball." It works for a lot of teams, but I'm more of a suffocation guy—gap responsibility giving opposing offenses no where to go. The "see ball, get ball" works for Bama the vast majority of the time due to the competition. However, we saw two different season last year and in the latter, where it's equal talent versus equal talent, that approach just isn't reliable in my opinion.

On the objective side, the numbers are deceiving. You look and see a team giving up 65 or so more yards per game but that has to be taken in the context of the lead Bama had early on in the majority of their games. You'd expect teams to be moving the ball when they have to get points on the board.

I believe there was a lot of expectations for Tosh we didn't see fulfilled. While everyone was so worried he'd be snatched up by another team if he wasn't giving a DC role few were asking if he was ready for that role. He wasn't. And, that has to be taken in context as well considering we're comparing him to Pruitt (who by far has been the best DC we've seen at Bama in spite of his "warts.")

With no doubt in my mind at all the coaching staff last year wasn't of the same "Bama Standard" we're used to seeing. So many were focused on themselves versus the task at hand.
 

Tidestalker

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I believe there was a lot of expectations for Tosh we didn't see fulfilled. While everyone was so worried he'd be snatched up by another team if he wasn't giving a DC role few were asking if he was ready for that role. He wasn't. And, that has to be taken in context as well considering we're comparing him to Pruitt (who by far has been the best DC we've seen at Bama in spite of his "warts.")

With no doubt in my mind at all the coaching staff last year wasn't of the same "Bama Standard" we're used to seeing. So many were focused on themselves versus the task at hand.
So well said. I hated seeing Tosh looking stressed on the sideline because there wasn't any experience to fall back on... Not his fault, honestly. Can't just make experience, has to be earned.

Not sure if Golding is going to be a huge upgrade but I do feel better knowing he's called D's before, even if it was UTSA. Being put in those positions to make a break a drive, half, game, season are valuable.
 

TerryP

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Not sure if Golding is going to be a huge upgrade but I do feel better knowing he's called D's before, even if it was UTSA. Being put in those positions to make a break a drive, half, game, season are valuable.
I know I've mentioned this a time or two and at the risk of repeating ...

I wish I could remember the name of the testing system Saban uses for his interviews and training. I should have bookmarked the site and let it slip my mind.

That said, when Golding interviewed Saban spent more time with him in that evaluation than he has former hires. I was told Saban said no one has done as well with that system/testing software as CPG did during his interview. And, based on what I learned about Saban's feeling about Golding, along with Golding's decision this offseason about taking other jobs as sole DC (before Tosh was gone,) personally I have to go with Saban's evaluation(s) here.
I hated seeing Tosh looking stressed on the sideline because there wasn't any experience to fall back on
Tosh did have some experience to fall back on with Golding. However, that's something that's pretty damn hard to translate in a matter of a few seconds (and those seconds cost Bama on adjustments as we've all seen)
 

TUSKtimes

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Tosh did have some experience to fall back on with Golding. However, that's something that's pretty damn hard to translate in a matter of a few seconds (and those seconds cost Bama on adjustments as we've all seen)
Well, I'm old school and I believe a loss like we just experienced should take care of any entitlement feelings we might be having for the next year. The DBs aren't near as iffy as this time last season and our DL looks talented and deep and I absolutely love our DE talent. Sal is going to be great with our young OLBers and Allen and Anoma look like much more than fill-ins if Lewis can't make it and even if he can. No one should have to struggle to make a silk purse out of McMillan, Lee, and Benton at the Will. That just leaves the communicating part to get straightened out.
 

mando

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With no doubt in my mind at all the coaching staff last year wasn't of the same "Bama Standard" we're used to seeing. So many were focused on themselves versus the task at hand.
I do not think you can completely dismiss the 65 more yards you referenced even with the context you provided. The D had no answers for Clemson. Never seen that under Saban. Your quote highlights one reason for the below standard defensive.

I was encouraged by A-Day. Thought the D played with much more of a chip.
 

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