| FTBL 🏈 Spring Practice - 2019

UAgrad93

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@94 Grad didn't ATL suffer several OL injuries as well during the season? I know the defense suffered through a lot, but I believe they lost several OL during the season for extended periods of time as well.
 

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Under Locksley's direction, we were a pass first team and pass first teams tend to be more finesse than power oriented. Bama has to honestly ask themselves this offseason if that didn't hurt our performance vs Georgia and Clemson and even the second half against Oklahoma. It felt like we were running as a change of pace and not because we wanted to and it felt at times we are just not stubborn enough about the run and tend to airmail it too much. That stuff tends to show up the closer we get to the better defenses and the better teams.

Power run teams run the ball because they can. That mentality builds toughness with the big uglies up front and against physical, likeminded teams can carry the day. In our big games, we need to control the clock and play field position better. Plus I would be more inclined to believe at this point that being more physical at the LOS is really what breaks defensive morale and not always points on a scoreboard.

There is a happy balance that it takes to be that kind of offense. Maybe with Tua, the temptation is just too strong to harness some of that passing creativity but Sark needs to give it a go. Lawd knows we got the studs to do it and frankly, nothing would slow down all those cheap shots Tua took last season than an in your face power run game. It might end up being the best gift we could give Tua in the long run.

Now, can Sark give us that?
"Saban Ball" is the term I used for the identity he "used" to win championships. It's basically having a dominant D and OL via running & pass pro. Last year I believe the OL could have gotten there, and could have implemented the ground game you speak of. But the D.... It wasn't the same as in championship years at any of the 3 levels, with the exception of Q dominating his match up most every game. So I think Saban's idea was to flat outscore people with Tua and the passing game... To use a basketball reference - shoot 3's instead of 2's. "Saban Ball" was beating you with 2's and great defense. Can't do that without a great defense
 

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw

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I believe Sark will be fine as the OC. I believe Nick had zero problems with his OLC heading to GT and I am hopeful the new hire is successful making this years group a very physical group. Defensive improvement is going to be the key in whether this bunch is just another 10 win team or whether they challenge for that big ole trophy. As always when you have this many talented players on a roster entitlement is/can be a real problem. I do expect Nick to really tighten up the ranks this season.

Art Briles……"happy teams get beat"

We're looking at a least 7 players on the offense going early to the NFL after the season so it is imperative that the backups get ready to contribute this season so the 2020 season will not be all uphill.
 

TUSKtimes

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"Saban Ball" is the term I used for the identity he "used" to win championships. It's basically having a dominant D and OL via running & pass pro. Last year I believe the OL could have gotten there, and could have implemented the ground game you speak of. But the D.... It wasn't the same as in championship years at any of the 3 levels, with the exception of Q dominating his match up most every game. So I think Saban's idea was to flat outscore people with Tua and the passing game... To use a basketball reference - shoot 3's instead of 2's. "Saban Ball" was beating you with 2's and great defense. Can't do that without a great defense

What did you think of our running game last year? Why would the 12th ranked defense in the country have to dictate how our offense would have to play football?

With the speed we scored 28 points vs Oklahoma we continued to immediately put our defense out there against Murray. I don't think he had a first down in the first quarter and I know we sacked him numerous times in that period of play. When should an offense be able to protect their defense with a physical time of possession drive? It's the age-old struggle of balance. I don't think it's a switch you can turn off and on, it's more a philosophy you come with each game.

But, don't get me wrong about the Clemson game. That I believe was something else, besides Xs and Os. That was a Bama team not ready to emotionally compete. I've seen it happen to other teams just a rarity for us.
 

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What did you think of our running game last year? Why would the 12th ranked defense in the country have to dictate how our offense would have to play football?

With the speed we scored 28 points vs Oklahoma we continued to immediately put our defense out there against Murray. I don't think he had a first down in the first quarter and I know we sacked him numerous times in that period of play. When should an offense be able to protect their defense with a physical time of possession drive? It's the age-old struggle of balance. I don't think it's a switch you can turn off and on, it's more a philosophy you come with each game.

But, don't get me wrong about the Clemson game. That I believe was something else, besides Xs and Os. That was a Bama team not ready to emotionally compete. I've seen it happen to other teams just a rarity for us.
I thought the running game was good not great... Mostly because as you've noted, the commitment wasn't there. The biggest reason I was excited about Tua was the idea of how our run game would be so productive and effecient with the threat of a deep passing game... But it never felt like we took full advantage of that. Not to mention having what appears to be the most underutilized first round RB talent in the history of CF.

But - The D absolutely plays into how the O is being approached. I too agree that the OU finish was somewhat head scratching, but trying to crawl inside Saban's head those last 2 games I think he really believed we just needed to outscore both of them.... Win shootouts. Half because of the D and half because he saw us do it all year on O... Like you said, we never really committed to the ground and pound theory.

Hoping that at some point we get back under center.... Tua should as well. Nothing like the RB with a full head of steam and the OL getting downhill, not to mention how deadly those play actions could be. But when the spread offenses starting scoring all these points I think Saban shifted into the run opening up the pass to the pass opening up the run... And as we've seen many times (OU game was the opposite), an early deficit has led to an evacuation of the run game... Seems to be an an Achilles heel.
 

TUSKtimes

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I thought the running game was good not great... Mostly because as you've noted, the commitment wasn't there. The biggest reason I was excited about Tua was the idea of how our run game would be so productive and effecient with the threat of a deep passing game... But it never felt like we took full advantage of that. Not to mention having what appears to be the most underutilized first round RB talent in the history of CF.

But - The D absolutely plays into how the O is being approached. I too agree that the OU finish was somewhat head scratching, but trying to crawl inside Saban's head those last 2 games I think he really believed we just needed to outscore both of them.... Win shootouts. Half because of the D and half because he saw us do it all year on O... Like you said, we never really committed to the ground and pound theory.

Hoping that at some point we get back under center.... Tua should as well. Nothing like the RB with a full head of steam and the OL getting downhill, not to mention how deadly those play actions could be. But when the spread offenses starting scoring all these points I think Saban shifted into the run opening up the pass to the pass opening up the run... And as we've seen many times (OU game was the opposite), an early deficit has led to an evacuation of the run game... Seems to be an an Achilles heel.
I think that's pretty much it. As I mentioned, Locksley had his own priorities with the passing game, I hope Sark can find the power and realize that mismatches occur at running back as they do with wide receivers. I don't see Tua having any problem executing any style we chose to play.
 

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I think that's pretty much it. As I mentioned, Locksley had his own priorities with the passing game, I hope Sark can find the power and realize that mismatches occur at running back as they do with wide receivers. I don't see Tua having any problem executing any style we chose to play.
You by chance know if Sark had the QB under center at USC/ATL?! Anyone?

I understand all the great things shotgun can do for a QB and the O in general... And the pistol is cool.... But damn, getting under center with some ass kickers could be a nice option.
 

EasyTider

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You by chance know if Sark had the QB under center at USC/ATL?! Anyone?

I understand all the great things shotgun can do for a QB and the O in general... And the pistol is cool.... But damn, getting under center with some ass kickers could be a nice option.
Pretty sure I saw it mentioned somewhere about QBs already take simulated snaps from under center in first practice. I could be wrong, but pretty sure his offense at USC had the QB under center a fair amount.
 

94 Grad

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and the coaching staff sucks as well... Players need to do their part on both sides of the ball. If your plan is to outsmart the opposition in every game then good luck. I do believe is going back to more of a meat and potatoes team with his staff hires.
I'd just be happy to see them use a bit more clock between snaps... regardless of run/pass. Don't get me wrong... I love scoring in 30 seconds... but I'd much rather see a 5 minute drive at least ;)
 

94 Grad

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@94 Grad didn't ATL suffer several OL injuries as well during the season? I know the defense suffered through a lot, but I believe they lost several OL during the season for extended periods of time as well.
We lost Levitre early which was painful for the running game as he was one of the better run blocking guards paired with losing Freeman at RB. Later Fusco was lost for the second half of the season which just compounded that issue. Oline is a such based on how well they work as a unit... losing one guy can be a big change; however, on the Defensive side of the ball we lost several pro-bowlers at key positions early.. it wasn't pretty on that side last year.
 

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Pretty sure I saw it mentioned somewhere about QBs already take simulated snaps from under center in first practice. I could be wrong, but pretty sure his offense at USC had the QB under center a fair amount.
Let's goooooo! Thanks Tider
 

UAgrad93

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We lost Levitre early which was painful for the running game as he was one of the better run blocking guards paired with losing Freeman at RB. Later Fusco was lost for the second half of the season which just compounded that issue. Oline is a such based on how well they work as a unit... losing one guy can be a big change; however, on the Defensive side of the ball we lost several pro-bowlers at key positions early.. it wasn't pretty on that side last year.
I thought that there were some big losses on the OL. That's why I wouldn't throw any blame at Sark like some wish to do. I'm not a big NFL guy, so I don't follow that much.
 

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Saw on Rivals where reports about Alfano putting on muscle weight and already looking impressive expect him to have a big time early impact. I think I saw on here the same thing last week or so, but only bringing it up to see if anyone has heard about anyone else really stepping it up?
 

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Tua with the media today

Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa met with the media today before practice. Here's what he said.
On how being the established starter this spring is different from last spring:

Nothing really. I've still got to compete. There are a lot of competitors in the quarterback room. Not just Mac Jones. There's Paul Tyson. And we've got my little brother (Lia Tagovailoa) as well. And we have the walkons. So it's not time to take off. Not time to relax.

On how it feels having his brother as a teammate:

It's good. But it's a business. You've got to work for what he wants and what he needs to do to become successful here. It's not going to be given to him.

On if his relationship with his brother is different on the field:

Definitely it is. When practice happens, it's like you're looking at your teammate. On defense, you're looking at those guys as guys you've got to compete against. Off the field, they're our friends. So it's exactly the same thing (with my brother).

On what stands out about his first season as the starting QB:

I can't think too much about the good, because a lot of bad still stands there. The biggest takeaway for me from last year would be the little things that I didn't correct throughout the games where we played teams that weren't up to our competition. We made a lot of mistakes and it ended up catching up to us. I think that's something big that we can all takeaway as a team.

On things that caught up with UA against defenses like Georgia's and Clemson's:

I think that's where it comes into play. Where it gets you, it gets you. It just wasn't enough time for us to recuperate and try to fix it, because those habits were instilled. So this is an opportunity for us throughout spring ball to get better with that.

On what Clemson did defensively to have success:

They have a really good defense and a really good front seven. They have really good DBs. Their defensive coordinator, he called a great game. The biggest thing was the way they disguised coverages. They made it look like one thing pre-snap and then post-snap it was a totally different thing.

On now having his third offensive coordinator:

You can't really compare all the coaches. You look at it more as these guys have their own way of coaching. These guys have their own style. You just have to learn to go with it, because at the next level it's not always going to be the same person. So you've got to be able to adjust.

On if it's good having the QB coach as the offensive coordinator:

It is. That helps, because they're not going elsewhere to hear information. They're not going to the receivers. They're just going directly to the quarterbacks.

On how much of a learning curve with the new things Steve Sarkisian is adding:

We've implemented a good amount of things that Sark likes to run. But we still have things that we had last year. So it's not too much of s big learning curve. Right now, we haven't really implemented everything.

On having a prior relationship with Sarkisian:

Oh yeah. It was really good. He offered me while he was at USC. USC was my dream school, too. I will be forever grateful for that. Just the person he is, he's a good guy. He's a relationship person in the quarterback room with everyone.

On how he decompressed after the Clemson game:

Went back to work. Went back to work, definitely.
 

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I hope Tua's brothers is within the same neighborhood talent wise as he is. If so then things should be pretty good for Bama at the QB spot. I look forward to the REC members telling us how the scrimmages go this spring.
 

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I look forward to the REC members telling us how the scrimmages go this spring.
And what percentage of those told us to write Jalen off? 👿 :unsure: ;)

I'm sure we'll see some of the interviews later on today. A small note...Dylan appears to have really embraced the MIKE role specifically when it comes to calling the defense. It looks like "his head is in the right place."
 

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From BamaOnLine - Travis Reier's Live report from Practice (Facebook) - KAHO not at practice...no word on return, eventhough he indicated he would be back soon
Lots of guys getting rotated in the Secondary today, especially getting looks at moving down in the nickel and dime coverages.
As is most always the case, lots of guys getting looks to find those who "get it" when moving around to different coverages and positions in the secondary.
Of course, Shy Carter is still in the black jersey and did notice that Travis mentioned Nigel Knott working with the CB's (not too surprised, just hope this kid and stay healthy and get some quality PT this year.
(and no, Ben Davis was not spotted with the OLB's today, remember he is most likely going to be limited in Spring because of his offseason surgeries.)
 

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Tua’s comments about struggles in championship game only reiterates the fact that we were so out coached that our talent advantage was completely Neutralized
 

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I hope Tua's brothers is within the same neighborhood talent wise as he is. If so then things should be pretty good for Bama at the QB spot. I look forward to the REC members telling us how the scrimmages go this spring.
Sadly, I don’t think he is. Definitely better than back in the day; but if we can’t win 1 NC with Tua; hard to imagine one in next 2-3 years. Don’t think there will be any Jay Barker’s or even Jake Coker’s winning NC’s in near future and today’s defense (no matter how dominant 2016), won’t be the deciding factor.
 

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Sadly, I don’t think he is. Definitely better than back in the day; but if we can’t win 1 NC with Tua; hard to imagine one in next 2-3 years. Don’t think there will be any Jay Barker’s or even Jake Coker’s winning NC’s in near future and today’s defense (no matter how dominant 2016), won’t be the deciding factor.
But, we've already won 1 NC with Tua!
 

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