Tom Arnold, A Sleepless Coach, The Next Michael Irvin Were In Alabama This Week
Tom Arnold visits Alabama Football Practice, Sings Jones' Praises
Alabama football continues to gain national attention, this time from Tom Arnold.
Arnold was once married to Roseanne Barr and had a short stint as a sports journalist on the Fox Sports network.
Arnold, who apparently has a mutual friend with Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, visited the Crimson Tide football practice Thursday afternoon. This stirred some attention and garnered him a spot on Paul Finebaum’s radio program Friday afternoon.
During the interview, Arnold was solicited for information as to what he thought of Alabama’s team after watching them practice.
Arnold highly praised the Crimson squad, particularly true freshman receiver, Julio Jones.
Jones, in the words of Arnold, is the best college receiver he has ever seen. Further, Arnold compared Jones' athletic abilities to that of Michael Irvin's in his days with the Dallas Cowboys.
Arnold said the quarterbacks tried their best to throw passes over the head of Jones, but just were not able to do so because of the quick first three steps Jones has.
Arnold also said it had been a long, long time since he had seen such a receiver at the college level. Jones was said to be the “real deal.”
Attitude Remains a Difference Maker for the Tide
Other news rousing from Tuscaloosa is the attitude on the field. As reported previously by me as well as many others, the outlook and demeanor of the entire team continues to soar.
“Last year was disappointing, we let a lot of games slip by.This year everybody's made up their mind, we don’t want to be a mediocre team anymore," junior defensive end Brandon Deadrick said. "For so long we’ve had talent, we’ve had skill, we’ve just let everything slip away. Now everybody's like we’ve gotta do something. If you don’t fight against the current you’re going to get washed out to sea.”
Deadrick, who has the great opportunity and challenge of lining up across from junior left tackle, Andre Smith, during practice, believes it is making him better:
“I feel it's good practice for me. I go against him everyday of the week and I go out there on Saturday and I've already been against the best, what else is there?”
Senior defensive end Bobby Greenwood added that his play was sub par last season and he looks to improve upon that this year:
“It’s my senior year. I’m out here to be real productive," Greenwood said. "I wasn’t real happy with the way I played last year. I worked hard this summer and through camp. I think I’ve taken big strides toward that.”
Recently, coach Nick Saban was not able to sleep at night, at which time wife Terry became frustrated, thus prompting Saban to get up and construct a list of who he considered his best players.
Saban stated that some of the best decisions are the ones made at night when he is unable to sleep.
He referred to these moments as “alert” moments, when he simply gets up and writes down his thought so he can get back to sleep.
It was during this time that Saban readjusted his defense according to his “best players list” to form a 3-4 formation, utilizing the best of each player he has.
The 3-4 should prove to be highly lethal his players learn and execute it properly.
Lorenzo Washington, former nose tackle, has been moved to defensive end in order to use his talents and to give way to a battle for the starting position in the middle. That battle will come down to Josh Chapman and Terrence Cody.
Freshman Don'ta Hightower moved to the inside linebacker spot, and Corey Reamer has been moved to outside linebacker.
Now, who said 'Bama was going to be thin on defense? There is so much talent Saban can’t make up his mind on where to use it all. Once Prince Hall returns from his suspension, the problem of sorting the defense will only mount.
That's a good problem to have. In fact, the way this defense is picking up strength and speed, it seems like other coaches will soon be losing sleep as well.
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