A fan had a chance to ask Nick Saban this question and got back this answer:
“AJ has been trained to be a good leader and the players love him,” Saban said. “Football’s important to him. I wouldn’t even know he was dating anyone if you didn’t tell me that because he’s there every day doing what he’s supposed to do. He really is. I have no question about that.”
Given how much AJ has been in the news since the BCS title game vs. Notre Dame, I think this is a fair question.
The answer, given by coach Saban, shouldn’t be surprising, either.
In my opinion, this is one of the top issues heading into the 2013 season. Well, not so much is there “a process to keep AJ focused,” but rather, will all of this stuff add up to a distraction.
My opinion right now – and how’s this for wordsmithing? – is it won’t be a distraction unless it becomes one. This will be AJ’s third season as the starting quarterback at Alabama. He was a highly recruited player out of high school. He’s been part of three national championship seasons and he’s also been a part of an under performing team. He’s also been a key part of winning two BCS title games. A huge part. To sum it up, he has more experience than most people will ever have.
By the evening of September 14, 2013, after games against Virginia Tech and Texas A&M – we’ll know how this season will go. Cruise past these two games and it’s business as usual. Stumble in either of these – or, horrors, both – and McCarron will see pressure like he’s never seen it and we’ll see blamed pile up on the off-season activities.
If you haven’t seen it yet, cruise over to Capstone Report and watch the video posted of Bama fans reacting to last year’s last-second win over LSU.
The Baltimore Ravens visited the White House this week to celebrate with Super Bowl win.
Center Matt Birk didn’t go:
“I have great respect for the office of the presidency but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood,’” Birk, a former Minnesota Viking, told a local Minnesota sports blog. “I’m very confused by [Obama's] statement,” he explained. “”For God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend.”
I’m sure Birk will get eaten alive for this stance, but I happen to agree with him.
I think he conducted his protest in a very respectful way and missed what for some would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (though, obviously not for Nick Saban and the Alabama football team).
I actually don’t think a visit to the White House is an indicator that you agree with all of Barack Obama’s policies and / or politics, but I also don’t think it’s bad to stand up for what you believe.
May God bless you, Matt Birk.
Coach John Harbaugh cuts quickly to Courtney Upshaw’s issue:
“He’s working really hard, [but] Courtney’s weight issue – which he does need to lose some pounds – is that he doesn’t eat right,” Harbaugh told the Carroll County Times. “Courtney eats too much, and he doesn’t eat all the right foods. He knows that’s something that he’s going to have to get a handle on or he’s not going to be the best he can be. He’s aware of it. We have everybody in our building involved in it. He’ll be in fighting shape. I promise you that.”
Hey, a lot of us have been there.
That’s a good mix of rebuke and encouragement by Harbaugh. Let’s hope Upshaw can get with the program and not eat his way over to playing beside Mount Cody.
Cardinals quarterbacks coach Freddie Kitchens had to be taken to the hospital for heart surgery Tuesday, after falling ill at OTAs.
The Cardinals issued a statement on the situation, saying Kitchens began felling poorly during Tuesday’s practice. He was dizzy and light-headed, and trainers determined he should be taken to the hospital for more tests.
Once there, a CT scan showed a defect in his aorta which required immediate surgery at the Arizona Heart Institute.
The doctors who performed the surgery said it went well, and Kitchens’ prognosis was good.
Let’s pray to the Lord for a full and speedy recovery for Freddie.
Former Tider offensive lineman James Carpenter continues to battle through knee problems:
Carpenter has been unable to participate in the Seahawks offseason workouts for the second year in a row as he recovers from a knee injury that ended his season. Carpenter initially suffered a severe tear of the ACL in his left knee during a practice late in the 2010 season. After returning to play in seven games last year Carpenter again had his season end due to pain in his injured knee. He also missed two games mid-season with concussion symptoms.
Now Carpenter has undergone another surgery to repair his knee. During an interview with Bob Stelton and Dave Grozby Monday on 710 ESPN Seattle, head coach Pete Carroll said that Carpenter underwent an additional arthroscopic surgery on his knee to clean-up remaining issues with the knee.
Actually, I think the first knee injury occurred in 2011 (his rookie season), not 2010 as mentioned above.
Here’s to a full recovery for Carpenter.
Maybe there’s something in the water:
The Bengals didn’t have free agent right tackle Andre Smith under contract until the weekend of the draft.
But they haven’t had him on the field at all this offseason.
According to Geoff Hobson of the team’s official website, Smith hasn’t appeared at any of their OTA sessions yet. Coach Marvin Lewis said Smith told the club he’s dealing with personal issues.