"Everything he preaches is the right thing. It's just sometimes we didn't go about it that way, and it showed," Hall said. "That's nobody's fault but ours. All we had to do was buy into what Coach was saying. We realize it now, but obviously, it's too late."
Truer words have never been spoken.
So, on this Monday after the yo-yo season has come to a halt, we won't look back at what happened to this season - because DJ Hall just told you in that quote up there. Instead, we'll look at what to expect from next season's squad.
First off, they announced today that Mike Sherman will be the new coach at Texas A&M, so Tubs will be staying to take his beating next year. It is also being reported that Chan Gailey has been fired at Georgia Tech. Just wanted to get that out of the way first.
The 2008 version of the Crimson Tide, aside from the remaining bowl game, wherever that may be, should look considerably different. No longer will we have discipline problems from our "star" receivers, DJ Hall and Keith Brown. They will both be gone. Wallace Gilberry, my favorite player this season, will be in the NFL doin his thing and terrorizing QBs. Simeon Castille won't be getting burned by white guys from Louisiana-Monroe next year. Marcus Carter won't miss any more tackles after getting into the backfield before everyone else. Keith Saunders won't hit the qb after the play anymore, giving Auburn a first down after holding them to a 3rd-and-12. Justin Britt and Chris Capps won't miss their blocks anymore.
Eric Gray, who gave up the deciding touchdown in the 2006 Iron Bowl, will be gone after not playing much this season. Darren Mustin, the heart and soul of this defense, along with Wallace Gilberry, will be gone. Johnathan Lowe, the 5'7" running back/returner/receiver/whatever-you-need will be gone.
And that's just the seniors that will be gone. Don't think that Saban's off-season program won't be enough to run off some members the junior class. Jimmy Johns will probably be gone. I'm not sure what to think about Lionel Mitchell. Cody Davis may not play football ever again.
Coming in will be a whole lot of young-young-young-young kids. Look for probably 70 to 75% of the team next season to be true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, or sophomores. Right now, on the 122 man roster on RollTide.com, there are 47 freshmen (upcoming sophomores), and 36 sophomores (upcoming juniors). That's 83/122. Or 68%. I look for it to possibly be more next season - with all of them being kids that believe in the process.
The process will continue on, probably with John Parker Wilson at QB to start the season, simply because he works his ass off, more-so than anybody else, to get better. If his problems continue (turnovers, misreads, etc), he'll be riding pine, playing behind Nick Fanuzzi or Star Jackson, who both seem to fit Major Applewhite's plan a little better. I expect Greg McElroy to transfer after this season.
I expect the senior class for next season to be better. I expect this team to gel more because of the senior leadership. I don't forsee any discipline issues like we had this season. I don't forsee stupidity from the "leaders" of the team. I think it took an ending to the season, like the one we just endured, to get these guys to pull together. The off-season conditioning program will be ridiculous. The players will be stronger and better because of it.
Don't think for a second that the incoming freshman class will fall away because of the recent losses. These kids know what's on the horizon. So do the younger players already on the roster. They understand, and that's the first step to becoming winners.
Tomorrow, we'll begin to look at who we have coming back at each position, who has been redshirted, etc.
¶ 8:46 AM
Lionel Mitchell needs to go as well. Plays a lot like Marcus Carter, acts alot like Simeon, gets burned like both of 'em. Either that or reduce him to special teams.... # posted by Quicksand Millennium : 9:24 AM
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