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Softball Boosters meet with team and coaches tonight.
Written by Jamos
Comments: 3
Posted under: The Quad
It was our annual meeting with the team, coaches, and the compliance dept and was very entertaining.

Most of the players were there but a few were craming for tests tomorrow and were excused. It was nice to hear the ladies reflect on their season so far and to listen to Littlejohn and Osorio talk about their feelings when they were trying to close out the games of their perfect game and no hitter. Coach Murphy gave a rundown of the California experience and what it meant to the players. Some of you may not know that when CPM recruits these players from the far away States, he promises to take the team back to play in their home area in a tournament so their family and friends get a chance to see them play. In the trip to California the two players involved were Alexis Osorio and Leona Lafaele. Leona got the shock of her life as her dad, who lives in Somalia, made the trip to see her play and Leona did not know this was happening. When Leona came into the stadium she happened to look up and there was her da., He had not seen her play since she was 10 years old. Leona got a double on her first time at bat and when the coaches looked at Leona standing on second something seemed strange about her and when the coaches went to check on her she was about to feint. How much do you think that hit meant to her as her dad is recovering from a stroke that happened a few months back and she didn't think her dad would ever get to see her play again, him living so far away and with bad health.

The women are in action this weekend as Bama will host their annual Easton Spring Bash with Michigan, Lipscomb, and James Madison as the other teams participating. All three of these teams made the NCAA Tournament last year and have several of their starters returning this year so the competition should be good. On Friday Bama will play Michigan at 4 p.m. followed by James Madison at 6 p.m.. On Saturday Bama plays Michigan at 1:30 p.m. and James Madison at 4:30 p.m.. On Sunday, Bama will play their final game against Lipscomb at 1:30 p.m..

It looks like another banner year for the team so far and hopefully some of you that have never been to one of their games will get a chance this year.

Bill Battle:Is it Decision Time?
Written by Jamos
Comments: 29
Posted under: The Quad
Early into the game last night I glanced toward the reserved seating for University of Alabama dignitaries and saw Bill Battle sitting with a lady and immediately my curiosity got the best of me, was the lady President Judy Bonner. It was just the two of them with 3 other folks sitting two rows in front of them in that area so it was easy for me to sit and observe the two of them. When I say curiosity, I'm saying that I have been wondering like so many of the Tide nation about the status and future of the Alabama basketball program since the team has seemed to regress to a very mediocre team since about the middle of the season. Even more is the case of Coach Anthony Grant and his status of being a capable coach that can lead the team back into a level of competition that is highly regarded and competing in the top twenty teams in the NCAA.

Bill Battle sat very still and not too emotional with his eyes glued to the court for the most part of the game with an occasional applause for a good play by a player. I was wondering what he might be thinking as this game was very important for the Alabama team to win in order to have any chance for NCAA consideration for the upcoming tournament. I will say that his attention to the game was firm and there seemed to be very little of anything that distracted his eyes from the play of the game. Was this his usual demeanor to watch a game or was he there for a certain reason last night? Could it be that he was there to fulfill an upcoming decision that he will have to make concerning the future of the basketball program?

One thing is certain to happen though, Bill Battle will have to address the Alabama nation with a decision of whether Coach Anthony Grant is staying or leaving very soon. While strolling around Coleman last night and chatting with a few friends before the game and at halftime, there is a lot of disappointment with the fans and season ticket holders. There has been one sellout this year we all know who that was, Kentucky. Other than that game the fans have been very sparse, especially the ticket holders at the center court area on both sides of Coleman. There have been no booing toward the players at all at their sometimes lack luster play but the empty seats are what is sending the big message to the University. This is a warning signal that something about the program is very wrong and something needs to be done by Bill Battle, but the next message by the fans could be even stronger if Battle doesn't take some action, the long time season ticket holders do not renew their tickets for next season. All of these empty seats were sold for this season but I doubt that will happen next season if there is not a change in the program.

It's a shame any of this has to happen but Alabama is a proud school and winning is a tradition for them regardless of the sport. Right now I would say there are two of the programs with coaches on hot seats, basketball and baseball. Mitch Gaspard needs to have a good season this year, with all of the money that is being spent on his team, or there may be another big decision coming very soon.

All of what I have written is purely speculation on my behalf and by no means is it something that the University has indicated will happen but I do feel pretty good about my speculation and only time will tell. By the way, I could never tell if the lady sitting with Bill Battle was President Judy Bonner or not. RTR!!!       

REC and National Signing Day 2015
Written by Jamos
Comments: 14
Posted under: The Quad
As always, Coach Saban and staff shared their views and opinions with the REC after a long day of trying to get all of their high school commitments on board. CNS was happy with the results of today and very quick to point out to each of us that there is more to recruiting these young men than counting the stars beside their names. He pointed out that the ratings that these sports analysts use to label the players with is in no way a scientific way of showing a true evaluation of how good a player really is and it isn't fair to the players to be put in this spotlight of speculation. He went on to say that coaches base their opinions of players by their measurements of speed, size, attitude, etc. and how they have performed for their team. I found it very interesting as he explained the different sizes of the players that fit the different positions.

Coach Saban was asked about the problem with the defense this year and what do they have in mind to get some improvement. He stated that Alabama had always used players on defense for special plays, such as a player always would go in on third down or if they were going to use a blitz package there were special players for that. Moving forward he said that all of that would be changing because with the hurry up offenses, there is no time to substitute and they are getting caught with the wrong players on the field. This next year the players in all positions will be conditioned to play longer without being substituted. In other words, the big boys will be getting smaller and faster.

All of the coaches got to share with us their recruiting season and how they felt about the outcome of their efforts. Coach Lupoi and Coach Tucker were given a loud welcome as they introduced themselves and I think they will make a good fit for the team.

In closing Coach Saban went into what it takes to have a good team and he was quick to mention the need for good leadership. He said there are 10 players chosen each year for the leadership committee and it's not that easy to get the right ten sometimes. Reggie Ragland was singled out as the leader of the defense and then he mentioned Kenyon Drake. He said he is so proud of where Kenyon is today with his changes and maturity. When Kenyon was asked to be on the committee he told Kenyon if there was anyone on the team that should know what it takes to be a leader it should be him after all that he has been through and that got a big laugh from the REC. He also talked about the QB situation and what it takes to be the starting QB and how it is the hardest position on the team to evaluate a player. He is hoping this spring will produce some good results as far as the starter for next year and one thing is for sure, that player will have to have leadership qualities no matter how good of a passer or runner that he might be.

ADay will be April 18th this year. There was one thing that all of the coaches, including CNS, were very adamant about as they talked about how they were able to recruit their prized players and that was the ADay game. There were several of the players that signed today said the ADay played a huge role in their decision to come to Bama. They thought that was the biggest spectacle they had ever seen with all that went on that weekend. Each of the coaches asked us to please keep that going because it is making a big difference in NSD for Bama football, so I'll see all of you April 18th at Bryant Denny and let's make a big difference for next year's recruiting with the largest crowd ever. RTR!!!

Phil Savage speaks to REC
Written by Jamos
Comments: 13
Posted under: The Quad
For those of you that haven't had the chance to hear Phil speak, do so if you have the chance. This man is like someone that covers the recruiting wars in college football but his knowledge base goes much further than that with his knowledge of the Pros.

He first gave us a rundown of his Senior Bowl week and how exhausting it was. I never realized the difficulty that is involved with filling the rosters for the teams as players would commit to playing and then decommit. Some of this was happening up to two days before the game was played.

He did mention that the coach down at the other school in the state was upset because his quarterback wasn't chosen as a quarterback for the team, we all thought that was pretty funny. Even when he was chosen to play as a QB, he came to camp and went to his first practice, took off his QB jersey and told everyone that he was now a DB and that didn't change afterwards. Actually he made a big impression with his size and performance.

Blake Sims has been chosen to participate in the upcomimg professional combines, Phil doesn't think he will get drafted but can make a scout team and have a chance to work his way up.

He talked some on Trent Richardson and it wasn't the news that I wanted to hear. Trent evidently has some major distractions in his life as do all professional athletes that has a pocket full of money. Phil thinks he has to make some major decisions in getting his life back in order to continue his pro career.

He is very excited for spring practice to start to watch the battles at QB and WR. There is no one favorite of his at either position at this time.

In the Super Bowl this Sunday he picked Seattle and figured his old friend and Coach Belichick wouldn't like that very much.

I almost forgot the one thing he was very excited about, the two new additions to the coaching staff. Phil says it will be huge as to what Lupoi and Tucker will bring to the team, better recruiting on the West coast and and an experienced DB coach.

It was a fun evening for everyone and we were promised that Lane Kiffen would be our next speaker, really looking forward to that.

Re: Bama Softball Scrimmage
Written by Jamos
Comments: 6
Posted under: The Quad
We went to the scrimmage and it was exciting to see the ladies out there getting ready to start the season. The only bad thing that we saw was Peyton Grantham, third baseman, was still limping and rehabbing her knee injury from last season. I was hoping that she would be ok by now but that doesn't seem to be the case at all.

The practice/scrimmage was very intense as CPM put them through a very heavy workout. There seems to be plenty of talent on the team that Peyton's injury shouldn't affect the lineup to a heavy degree but she is good at third and with her bat and will be missed. CPM runs a good scrimmage, it is like a real game but it rotates the players after each inning, including the pitchers. The batters seemed to have the edge which isn't surprising for this time of the year but when I see the batters get some good hits off the solid pitching that Bama has, it made me feel good about the offense this year. Their infield practice was very intense as well as everything is run at a hot pace and again the players were changing positions in a rotation.

I liked what I saw as far as the preparation for this year and how it is being done. The intensity of the players and the heavy coaching that was being given to all of the players gave me a better understanding of why Bama is so good every year. During the scrimmage, VanBraekle was positioned behind the pitchers, giving them instructions pitch by pitch as they did their rotation each inning. I won't make any assessment of the pitchers but they all seemed to be doing well as far as my opinion goes, VanBraekle may think different. 

Anyway, it was a fun afternoon and I wish all of you softball fans could have been there with us. The first game is Feb. 5th against South Alabama so we don't have to wait much longer for them to start play. RTR!!

At least Bama lost with class
Catch Prothro
Written by Catch Prothro
Comments: 9
Posted under: The Quad

Re: "Defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor set to join Alabama Crimson Tide"
Written by Jamos
Comments: 64
Posted under: The Quad
As I read all of the posts by everyone I could see some of me in everyone of them. I usually have a biased opinion in most instances like this one as all of you have and I will admit that I have been wrong so many times because I didn't know the whole story of the situation.

The first thing that I noticed in the posts was that CNS is the one that is being blamed for letting Taylor play football at Alabama, well that isn't so. Taylor was first approved by the University of Alabama to enroll and then Bill Battle gave the approval for him to play football. This all happened because of his criminal status as is with any student that wants to enroll at the U of A, they must first be approved before they can enroll. He hasn't played a down for Bama yet and I can assure you he won't play a down for CNS until he meets a certain criteria, which isn't very easy to do.

The question of is he worthy of having a chance to play at Bama is something that a lot of us have strong opinions on. There are a lot of very successful people in this world because someone gave them a second or even a third chance or even more. Did they deserve those chances? Maybe not in a lot of peoples minds but wasn't it good to see that it happened, something good came from something bad. There is one particular former player at Alabama that got extra chances in life for something very similar to wha Jonathont Taylor has been accused of. Do any of you remember Siran Stacy? Sure you do and everybody loves him for what he did on the football field as well as how his horrible story of his wife and children being killed in the car accident and how he has survived all of that. Siran was like some of the players for CNS, he was a constant visitor to the Gene Stalling's doghouse for not doing the right things in life. I remember when his life started to change some as he was made to do community service work for his wrong doings by working at the RISE Center by helping with the children there. He resisted at first and insisted he had better things to do but the kids there finally won him over by adoring him. What they loved most about him was Siran letting them sit in his lap in a rocking chair and he would rock and sing them to sleep. Every one at Rise would peek around the corners just to hear his wonderful voice as he would put the kids to sleep.  This was not the Siran Stacy of old, it was something good coming from a bad situation in his life. After he left Bama for the Philadelphia Eagles, his life reversed itself back to his old days of not doing the right things in life. Yes, he was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, the same thing that Jonathan Taylor was arrested for. Now we all know the rest of the story of Siran Stacy, is it so wrong that he got extra chances in life to be a better person.

So as we voice our opinions, let's ask ourselves is it worth the effort to try and change another person's life to make something good out of something very bad. If there is any person that I know that can change this young man, it would be Nick Saban. If he can become a better person and become successful in life, it was  well worth the effort of those that cared. Nick Saban is something way more than a football coach, he is a life changer for many young men that straddle the road of being good or bad in life.

I'll never ever let my feelings for helping someone be affected by what someone else may think of me, that would only make me a lesser man.JMHO


Re: Men's Basketball Begins SEC Play vs. Texas A&M Tonight 8 p.m.
Written by Jamos
Comments: 25
Posted under: The Quad
Bama did what they needed to do tonight, beat Texas A&M in a convincing manor. The Aggies came in tonight with a 9-3 record and a good overall team national rating which meant Bama had something to gain with the convincing win.

The game started at a slow pace and stayed that way for most of the first half and as usual, Bama didn't play well with the slow pace of the game. The second half was a whole different story again for Bama as they kicked their energy level in gear and picked up the tempo of the game and it was all over for the Aggies. This team is learning about themselves and what the tempo of the game means to them and now you can add another weapon into the fast tempo factor, Retin Obasohan. Having been crippled all season from an off season ankle surgery, he is now playing at full speed and what a difference he can make for this team. Bama again spread the offense and defense results around as to the stats and this is just what CAG is looking for, a team chemistry that involves all of the players and not just a couple of them.

I am very impressed with the improvement of the team since the start of the season as they seem to improve with each game and tonight they improved on what I had complained about the last two games, shooting free throws. I hope they will keep working on that aspect of their game because it may win them some of those close games down the road.

Now it's time to hit the road for a game and that makes all of us fans a little nervous. They will play Tennessee up there and if Bama can steal a win there, this could do wonders for them as far as winning some games on the road this year. It won't be easy as usual but I like their chances Saturday. Kentucky follows the Tennessee game at Coleman and beating Tennessee could possible be a big game changer for the Tide against the Wildcats. Bama will need anything they can get, momentum wise, if they are to beat Kentucky. We all know about ifs and buts and the win tonight has gotten me all pumped for a big road win and hopefully that will happen

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Where does the problem lie with Bama's horrible finish?
Written by Jamos
Comments: 17
Posted under: The Quad
After the spanking that Bama got in the Sugar Bowl, I couldn't help but point a few fingers as to what I thought was the major reason(s) for the loss. There were many but I'm just going to just use the defense and the offense as the two categories to sum it up.

Bama started the season with a new and untested quarterback and a new OC. In most people's minds, the offense would be a total flop this year because of that. But that wasn't the case at all as Lane Kiffen was able to coach up Blake Sims to be a very respectable QB. This is not saying he was an All-American but he had some very good stats for the year. CLK was doing a very good job as the new OC and the offense had really looked pretty good except for the Ole Miss and Arkansas games. As the second half of the season came, the offense was putting up some big numbers and everybody thought that all is well, another National Championship is just down the road.

Now we move over to the defense. Bama lost some big time players to the Pros last season but there seemed to be a lot of experience coming back. In the first half of the season, the defense seemed to be where everyone thought they would be, good but not great. They were giving up a few big plays which most Bama fans aren't used to seeing. The worst big play that was being seen was the completion rate of the long pass against the defense. I for one thought this was just something that could be corrected easily and it would be business as usual in the games to come. Injuries are something that can cripple a team but Bama seemed to have enough depth though to overcome that problem. Bama seemed to be losing at least two starters a game as the season progressed but still they were hanging in there even though they were still giving up the long pass for big gainers or touchdowns.

Then came November with the Iron Bowl against Auburn. We all remember the number of yards the defense gave up against the Tigers in last year's game, rushing and passing. It was something tha Bama fans aren't used to seeing. After losing that game, I think the Bama Nation thought it was just a fluke and they just surprised Alabama and we would show them a thing or two in this years game. Well, they showed us a thing or two in this year's game, it wasn't a fluke as they put up big numbers again on our proud defense. Then came Missouri which most people thought didn't have a prayer against Bama. Again, Missouri put up some big numbers on our proud defense but Bama managed to beat both Auburn and Missouri but it wasn't easy.

Now we get down to the biggest game of the season, Ohio State and Urban Meyer. There is plenty of hatred for each other on both sides and Bama wanted to put another pasting on a Big Ten team. As we had watched all season of Bama giving up the big plays, passing, everyone thought this problem would be corrected and the Bama defense would look like the Bama of old. Wrong, Ohio State not only made the long passes but the Bama defense gave up over 200 yards of rushing to a running back, that is something that is unheard of in Bama football. I'm sure this caused Bear to roll over in his grave.

Now the question is, is the offense the big problem or is it the defense? Bama had a very nice lead in this game, 21-6 only to give it up and lose very badly. I know the offense didn't look the greatest there at the end but was that the real problem Houston, we have a problem

Game notes: OSU vs Bama
Written by hscoach
Comments: 9
Posted under: The Quad
First:   Congrats to Bama on a good year.  I know this isnít how we all wanted it to end, but it did.  These notes will be short since I canít watch the game again at this point.

Offense:  The offense was a Jekyll and Hyde offense.  At times they looked great, but then in crucial times they could not get a 3rd and 2.  They failed to convert on third down most of the night when they had less than 4 yards to go most of the time.  I have Bama for only 9 negative plays, but they were huge.  There were 3 tackles for losses, 3 sacks, and 3 interceptions, one which was returned for a TD and the other to end the game.  The one that was returned for the TD was great film work by OSU.  I donít know if it was an automatic on that formation or called but they knew exactly where Bama was going with the ball on 3rd and 5.  They had four 3 and outs and most were in the first half.   There was a 1 and out when Bama got the turnover and then threw the int in the red zone.  Bama had 5 running plays for over 10 yards and 6 pass plays for over 10 yards.  The main problem was they could not sustain a drive early in the game.  They had 4 trips in the red zone and scored 4 touchdowns and 1 touchdown was scored from outside the red zone.  I will say I thought Bama could have had better clock management in the end.  By clocking the ball a couple of times I thought they could have run at least 2 more plays. 

QB:  Again a tale of two QBís.  He played well at times and didnít at others.  At times I thought he was looking at the pass rush instead of downfield.  With this being said, I want to congratulate Blake on a great season.  Many of us didnít think he would be the starting QB this year and if he was didnít think they would have a chance to get to the NC playoffs.

RB:    They ran hard when given the chance.  The problem was they were hit quickly on the short 3rd down runs.

REC:  The biggest problem with the recís was a drop ball by DW that would have kept the drive alive.  If he makes this catch, then the ball does not go over to OSU allowing them to go down and score and make it a 21-20 game right before half.    They also were not allowed to get deep very often.

OL:   Again, blocked well on some plays missed blocks on crucial plays.  One the first TD run the blocking was outstanding, but then they couldnít come back and get a 3rd and 2.    I know BV whiffed on one block take cause a tackle for loss which led to a punt. 

Defense:  This was a game of big plays given up by the defense.  Here is the oddest part of the game.  Bama had 7 tackles for losses, 4 sacks, a fumble recovery, and an interception for negative plays.  They had 4 three and outs and 1 one and out.  Most of these stops came in the last of the 3rd and 4th quarter which gave Bama an opportunity to come back and put the game away.  They had at least 9 runs for 10+ yards and 9 pass plays for 10+ yards.  OSU was 10 for 18 on 3rd down conversions most of which were 8+ yards.   This inability to get off the field was a killer for Bama.  There were also many missed tackles.  I will say OSU backs ran hard and there were very few times when they didnít fall forward to complete a run.  One positive was Bamaís red zone D kept them in the game early.

DL:  At times good at times it looked like they played too high and didnít get off blocks.  Also, on their pass rush they went too far up the field allowing a wide escape route for the QB to scramble with success. 

LB:  Many times they would have to fight off linemen getting to the second level on them.

DB:  Cyrus Jones played a pretty good game.  Eddie Jackson gave up another big ball; however he did make some plays.  It did look like Washington took a bad angle on one deep ball.  OSU had great success passing the ball deep in the middle of the field when Bama had a 2 safety look. 

Penalties: The worse penalty of the night for Bama was when they had a big hit on a short kickoff return and taunted the player which gave them a lot better field position.  I am not sure on the EJ pass interference because it looked as if the ball was tipped.

Special teams:   All kicks were good. Scott is a stud.   AG looked a lot better with form and the height of his kicks.

Finally:   Bama had a good year and deserve a lot of credit.  The bad part, and some of you are not going to like to hear this, is maybe the SEC was not as good as we thought it was.  The top 4 SEC west teams lost their bowl games.  What was supposed  to be the strength, defense, left a lot to be desired. 

Please feel free to comment.

Good Luck and Roll Tide Roll 
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