Daily Archives: December 27, 2012

Saban on Barrett Jones, Denzel Devall

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Alabama coach Nick Saban said tonight he still isn’t certain when starting center Barrett Jones and backup linebacker Denzel Devall will return to practice.

Jones injured his foot Dec. 1 in the SEC Championship Game win over Georgia, while Devall hurt his knee Dec. 19 while working on blocking field goals.

“We don’t really have anything new to report from an injury standpoint,” Saban said. “Barrett and Denzel both spent a little time on a treadmill. Depending on how that goes this week, then they’ll probably be able to practice maybe next week.

“That’s kind of the plan, but it’s day to day because they both need to continue to make progress to be able to come back and play. We’re hopeful that they get at least five practices in before the game and are able to do that and sustain that.”

Also find and follow The Daily Bama Blog on:
Twitter: @DailyEdwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/dailybamablog

Report: McElroy didn’t say anything about concussion until today

New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy, bottom, is sacked by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget, front left. McElroy got sacked 11 times in the Jets' loss to the Chargers. (AP photo by Bill Kostroun)

New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy, bottom, is sacked by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget, front left. McElroy got sacked 11 times in the Jets’ loss to the Chargers. (AP photo by Bill Kostroun)

Former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy won’t play Sunday when his New York Jets play Buffalo. The team revealed today McElroy has a concussion, and he apparently tried to hide the injury.

Here’s The Associated Press story:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Rex Ryan stepped to the podium, looked out at the cameras and opened his news conference with a warning.

“You’re not going to believe this one,” the New York Jets coach declared without any hint of a smile.

In what has been a bizarre season, the Jets’ wacky quarterback situation took yet another twist. Greg McElroy has a concussion — which he didn’t reveal until otday — and will be replaced by Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback in the season finale at Buffalo on Sunday.

“We’ve come to find out that Greg wasn’t exactly truthful with our training staff after the game,” said Ryan, who acknowledged he was “stunned” to hear the news. “He never disclosed that he had symptoms after the game to our trainers. Right now, he’s being evaluated for a concussion.”

McElroy, preparing to make his second NFL start in place of the benched Sanchez, was lifting weights Thursday morning and started experiencing headaches, Ryan said. McElroy went to the team’s training staff and then revealed he was suffering concussion-like symptoms after being sacked 11 times in the Jets’ 27-17 loss to San Diego last Sunday.

McElroy and head trainer John Mellody then went to Ryan to tell the coach the news. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano said he was “pretty silent” when he found out a few minutes after Ryan.

“It’s another bump in the road here,” Sparano said, “and it’s something we’ve become a little accustomed to dealing with.”

Ryan was not certain exactly when McElroy suffered the concussion, but said there was no way he would play McElroy against the Bills and the third-stringer will “definitely be out.” McElroy had been listed on the injury report Wednesday with a mild abdominal strain, but was a full participant in practice and was expected to play without any issues.

“I admire his courage and everything else, but you have to be truthful and I think that’s the lesson learned here with the medical staff,” said Ryan, who spoke to the entire team about concussions after practice. “The fact he really wanted to play, I understand the competitive side of Greg and all that, but the most important thing is the health of the players.

“Obviously, I feel fortunate that something like this showed up without him going out there and putting himself in harm’s way.”

Also find and follow The Daily Bama Blog on:
Twitter: @DailyEdwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/dailybamablog

Countdown: 11 days until the BCS National Championship Game

Each day until the BCS National Championship Game, Daily Bama Blog contributor Brett Hudson will count down to kickoff, giving us bits and pieces of that day’s significance to Alabama and Notre Dame. Today is 11 days until the game, which means Brett is examining the number “11.”

–Alabama has recovered 11 of their opponent’s 23 fumbles.

–Alabama has gotten 11 first downs because of an opponent’s penalty. That is four percent of the 275 first downs the Crimson Tide has accumulated this season: 147 on the ground, 117 through the air and the other 11 through penalty.

–Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt has 11 sacks on the season, enough to put him in a tie for 12th nationally with Cornellius Carradine of Florida State and Phillip Steward of Houston. Tuitt’s sacks have resulted in 85 yards of losses.

T.J. Yeldon had 11 carries in his collegiate debut against Michigan for 111 yards, making for a season-high 10.1 yards a carry for the freshman.

–Both Yeldon and Eddie Lacy had 11 carries against LSU. Lacy led the Tide with 83 rushing yards, while Yeldon ran for 76.

–Alabama has two players who wear No. 11, which is one of 24 numbers that is worn by two or more players. On the offensive side, freshman quarterback Alec Morris, a product of Allen (Texas) High, is heading for a redshirt season. Alabama’s
defensive No. 11 is junior linebacker Tana Patrick. Patrick, who is from Bridgeport, has seen action in every game this season, coming out with 16 tackles.

–Notre Dame has two No. 11′s of their own. Junior quarterback Tommy Rees of Lake Forest, lll., has been the backup quarterback to Everett Golson all season for the Irish, but has come in at times in Golson’s inconsistent moments. Rees has 59 attempts and 34 completions this season for 436 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Notre Dame’s other No. 11, sophomore linebacker Ishaq Williams of Brooklyn, has recorded 21 tackles this season: 3.5 for a loss and 11 solo.

Also find and follow The Daily Bama Blog on:
Twitter: @DailyEdwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/dailybamablog

BCS game officials from Pac-12 have flag-throwing reputation

The Pac-12 Conference will provide the officials for the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7, and they don’t have a let-them-play reputation.

Of the five most penalized teams this year, four come from the Pac-12. UCLA (94 penalty yards a game) leads the list, followed by No. 2 California (83), No. 4 Washington (74.54) and No. 5 Oregon (74.25). Louisiana Tech is third at 79.75. Another Pac-12 team, Southern California, is 11th at 66.50 yards.

Florida holds the top spot among SEC teams with 66.42 yards, which ranks 12th nationally.

Neither Alabama nor Notre Dame draw a lot of flags. The Crimson Tide averages 32.85 penalty yards a game, and only six FBS teams are flagged fewer times: Army, Navy, Kansas State, Kansas, Army and Boston College. Notre Dame averages 42.92 yards, and only 32 teams average fewer than that.

The six major conferences rotate officials for the BCS National Championship Game, but they can’t call a game in which one of their teams is playing. Big 12 Conference officials handled last year’s game when Alabama beat LSU 21-0.

Also find and follow The Daily Bama Blog on:
Twitter: @DailyEdwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/dailybamablog

Thoughts from Thursday’s Alabama football practice

Alabama went through its seventh practice today as it prepares for its BCS National Championship Game appearance. The Crimson Tide worked out in full pads inside its indoor practice facility. It marked the second practice in two days after the team took a three-day break for Christmas.

Alabama coach Nick Saban has said he wants to duplicate the 65- to 70-degree temperature the Tide will face when it plays in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, and it’s quite a bit colder than that in Tuscaloosa this afternoon.

Alabama center Barrett Jones still isn’t practicing. During the 16-minute part of practice reporters were allowed to view, Jones stood on the sideline opposite of us, wearing a black non-contact jersey with a black walking boot on his injured left foot. He did some light exercises under the direction of Tide strength coach Scott Cochran.

Today marks 26 days since he injured his foot in the SEC Championship Game’s opening quarter. He didn’t have his best game of the season in the 32-28 win over Georgia, but it he still is wearing a walking boot nearly four weeks later, then it’s almost unbelievable to think he played that day and was reasonably effective. I’m not sure how he managed it.

For Alabama, the good part of Jones missing these practices is that backup Ryan Kelly, an All-SEC Freshman Team member, is getting plenty of work with the first-team line.

Freshman linebacker Denzel Devall wore a black non-contact jersey, too, and appeared more active than Jones. He worked under the direction of Tide trainer Jeff Allen, too, walking from one sideline to the other and back again. Sometimes he would do side steps. Other times he walked in a zig-zag. And other times he walked a straight line. He also did some small jumps, lifting only about two or three inches off the ground, if that much. That’s still more verticle leap than I have.

Wide receiver Kenny Bell (leg) wasn’t at practice, as he was before Christmas break. Noseguard Jesse Williams (knee) practiced but wasn’t doing a whole lot during the media viewing period. Cornerback Dee Milliner sat out some drills in the final practices before Christmas break, but he appeared to be doing everything today.

We have some video of Devall doing his walks. We don’t have Jones because he remained on the other sideline, which was too far away for my camera phone.

Also find and follow The Daily Bama Blog on:
Twitter: @DailyEdwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/dailybamablog

The story behind that heartwarming video of the dad who gets a BCS ticket for Christmas

Do you remember heartwarming video we shared with you three days ago, in which a dad gets a ticket to the BCS National Championship game from his son?

The family is from Oxford, and Anniston Star assistant managing editor Bran Strickland ran them down for a story. Here are the first few paragraphs, then a link to read the full story. (Don’t worry, the Star’s website doesn’t require a subscription.) After that, we have the video in case you didn’t catch it when we first posted it.

The night before Daniel Buckhannan exchanged gifts with his father, he could barely sleep.

“I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it,” he said.

After he gave the gift — a ticket to the Bowl Championship Series title game between Alabama and Notre Dame — he’s had a little more trouble with restful nights.

“I had to get up in the middle of the night and turn my phone off because I was getting so many direct messages and whatnot,” Buckhannan said Wednesday afternoon.

And that’s been the Oxford resident’s life since he uploaded the 90-second video of his father, Don, finding that ticket tucked inside a Bear Bryant-style fedora.

First it was being excited about modest YouTube views and a Twitter mention by writer and radio show host Clay Travis. Now, it’s at more than 3.3 million hits and early-morning phone calls come from New York television producers.

“We thought it was hilarious when it had 5,000 views on YouTube,” Don said.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Also find and follow The Daily Bama Blog on:
Twitter: @DailyEdwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/dailybamablog

Plain Dealer’s five questions with Brad Smelley

Former Alabama standout Brad Smelley was a seventh-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns. (AP file photo)

Former Alabama standout Brad Smelley was a seventh-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns. (AP file photo)

Former Alabama H-back Brad Smelley made his NFL debut Sunday for the Cleveland Browns, catching one pass for 3 yards. The Plain Dealer newspaper thought him as an interesting subject for its “Five Questions” feature.

We’ll give you the first one, but you should click on the link for the remaining four.

Q: You won two national titles at Alabama. What was the highlight?

A: Probably going out my senior year with a national championship and beating LSU in their backyard and getting some revenge.

Click here for the rest.

Also find and follow The Daily Bama Blog on:
Twitter: @DailyEdwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/dailybamablog