Tuesday, April 20, 2010  
A-Day reaction and follow-up
Well, like a dummy, I got busy and didn't even answer my own questions before A-Day. Yup, I am a member of the slacker community.

Regardless, I am going to go ahead and give a brief answer with what I was thinking before A-Day, and then I'll follow that up with the latest post A-Day questions for the Roundtable from our boys over at Roll Bama Roll.

Remember, as always, you can check out everything you need for the Crimson and White Roundtable by checking out the following site: http://cwroundtable.blogspot.com.

First off, here are my questions and answers from the previous week.

1. With Cody being gone to the NFL this season, will this change not only the way the Tide plays defense, but the way that opponents attack? Will this play into our favor or no?

I don't believe it will change our philosophy on defense, but I do believe that teams will no longer be as afraid to run up the middle against us. The Florida game last year was a perfect example of the kind of effect Cody had on opposing teams. They simply refused to run the ball up the middle with their smaller running backs. They ran dive play after dive play against all other opponents, but pulled it out maybe twice against us. Cody completely altered gameplans. Our defense will stay the same, but other teams will try to attack in more ways, I believe.

2. Although it's simply a glorified scrimmage, what are you looking for from Saturday's A-Day game?

Yeah, it's a scrimmage, but I wanted to see whether the offense and defense would be up to par from last season. Everyone talks about how great the offense will be, etc, but there were stretches last year where McElroy simply couldn't get the team to move the football. The defense looked baaad early on, but found a rhythm midway through the first half. Overall, I was fairly pleased with what we saw.

3. How big is the loss of Mike Johnson on the offensive line? Was he the reason the transition from 2008 to 2009 was so smooth?

I think he may have had a lot to do with it, but I don't think it was just him. Bringing back leaders at any position will help stabilize the unit. I think we'll be just fine this year with bringing back everyone else that played. I'm sure we will be set on the offensive line as long as Joe Pendry is there.

4. Is there another strength & conditioning coach in the country that is as important to a plan as Coach Cochran? What is it about him that you love so much (because we know that everyone here loves him. haha)?

Not a chance. The thing that makes Cochran so outstanding is how involved he is with the players. They're on the same level. Not to mention the guy is absolutely relentless. He never quits, and he doesn't let the players quit. By far my favorite coach other than Coach Saban.

5. NBA Playoff time -- who wins it, who pulls off the biggest upset, and why?

I think the biggest upset will be when the Mavericks finally knock off the Lakers. I don't think I like the Lakers that much this year. There's just something off about them, and Dallas is playing some magnificent basketball lately. I think I'm seeing a Cavs vs Mavs finals, so Nike, once again, will not get their Lebron vs Kobe that they've been hoping for. I see the Cavs in 6.

And now, we'll get on over the ones for this week, hosted by our boys over at Roll Bama Roll. If you'd like to see the original post, check it out here.

1. How did you watch the game, and why?

I was actually at the game. However, I did get back home sometime Sunday night and rewatch it. I attended because it's important to keep momentum going. There were going to be a lot of people there, but every single person matters in keeping a positive attitude around the program. The gathering of the masses definitely helped out, with us getting 3 HUGE commitments over the weekend. Stuff like this does matter and it plays a pivotal part in the continued success of the process.

2. Who stood out most on offense, be it for good or bad reasons?

Well, I can actually answer this two ways - Greg McElroy stood out the most to me at first because of how badly he ran the offense. Yeah, they were somewhat successful, but boy, did it look ugly. He made horrible throws, didn't move well in the pocket, and, overall, didn't look like a returning senior quarterback from a 14-0 championship football team. However, he was playing against the first string defense, so that may have had a lot to do with it.

Now, the things that looked really good were, of course, ALL of the running backs and, the show-stealer, AJ McCarron. Richardson and Ingram are both beasts, and both will be big time draft picks in the NFL eventually, but the group behind them would be starting almost anywhere in the country. Goode, Lacy, Griffin, etc. There's no let-down anywhere at all. This stable of running backs is absolutely unreal. And AJ -- well, there's not a lot to say other than he's got one hell of a touch and really knows how to lead a team. I think we're going to be set at the skill positions for a long, long time.

3. Same question for the defense.

Sadly, nobody really stood out to me on defense. It was good to see Hightower out there making plays. I liked the way BJ Scott was playing at corner. I guess the best looking player that I saw was Dre Kirkpatrick. He was a beast at corner. I expect great things from him this fall.

4. Did A-Day make you feel better or worse about our chances for a repeat in 2010?

Actually neither. It's just a scrimmage. Haha. But all in all, I think there's a lot of talent there, and that we will have a chance to win every game on our schedule this year. It's all about whether or not we execute the game plans laid out by the coaches. Fundaments and discipline will be big this year because we have a lot of wildcard talent that will have to see a lot of playing time. If they can stay in position and make plays, this team's going to be very very good again this year.

5. With the long dark of the offseason finally upon us, what's your favorite coping mechanism?

My favorite coping mechanism is different from a lot of people - I tour. haha. Over the summer we're out touring pretty much every weekend. My band stays fairly busy, so that helps me not worry about football or anything else for a while because my mind is focused on the task at hand. But, when I'm at home just lounging around -- I've got games from the last decade that I like to toss in and watch. Including DVDs from the last 3 or 4 years. I think I may watch as much film as some of the players. lol.

Comments: Coach Cochran is my favorite too! Remember how everyone made fun of us for our "Fourth Quarter Program?" Looks like its working out...Roll Tide!
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