Daily Archives: October 12, 2012

Ex-Tide DB closer to making NFL debut

Dre Kirkpatrick before Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. (AP photo by Michael Keating)

Former Alabama defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick is getting closer to returning to game action.

A first-round draft choice of the Bengals, Kirkpatrick hasn’t played after suffering a broken bone in his knee before training camp began. However, he practiced Thursday and Friday, although he still is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game with Cleveland.

“He had a good week,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told The Enquirer. “Everybody else gets two weeks of training camp and then four preseason games and then they’re ready to play in a game. He’s had about two and a half weeks of good work. It’s part of the process to get through. He has no problems, no symptoms. He’s competing and taking a lot of snaps both with the starting group and against our offense. He’s getting work on both sides.”

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Tide pledge runs back kickoff for 98-yard TD

Those Alabama running back recruits keep burning up the yardage.

North Little Rock (Ark.) High’s Altee Tenpenny scored three touchdowns in a 42-13 win over Searcy tonight, according to the school’s Twitter feed.

A Tide commitment, Tenpenny opened the scoring with a 98-yard touchdown run on a kickoff return. He closed it out with a 50-yard scoring run from scrimmage. He finished with 250 all-purpose yards.

Below, we have the most recent video we could find of him, and it’s from North Little Rock’s preseason scrimmage. It was his first action since his sophomore year. A broken ankle forced him to miss his junior season.

Tide commitment Derrick Henry of Yulee (Fla.) High rushed for 196 yards Friday night, giving him 10,003 for his prep career. His team fell to First Coast 37-23, although he did top 100 yards for the 41st straight time, which adds to his national record.

The Crimson Tide and Twitter

On Friday evening, here are some of the better tweets by Alabama football players. However, we’re going to start with a former Tide basketball player:

AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) after watching the Yankees beat the Orioles on Tuesday night: “So proud to be a Yankee fan tonight!!! Unbelievable!!! One of the best single person game I have ever seen!! Rah-ooooool!! #Yankees”

HaHa Clinton-Dix (‏@HaHa_CD6) expressing a sentiment you would expect from someone named HaHa: “Life is to short to ever be in a Bad Mood.”

Nick Perry‏ (@NIckPerry_27) about a sudden nervousness about flying: “Probably shouldn’t have watched ‘We are Marshall’ last night.. But still ready to fly out to Missouri!!.”

Robert Lester‏ (@RobertLester_37) on Wednesday: “I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOO HUNGRY!!!!!”

Amari Cooper (‏@amari_coop2) with a thought I agree 100 percent with: “I really don’t like wearing suits.”

C.J. Mosley (‏@TreyDeuce32RTR) noticing a less-and-dedicated classmate: “This girl charging up her phone and watching a movie in class!!”

Carson Tinker (‏@carsontink): “I loved watching the show “Friends” when I was young, but the older I get the more and more I appreciate it.”

Landon Collins (‏@ALLAMERICAN_2) after touchdown in Missouri: “Tell you one thing it’s windy up here #Football weather”

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Pair of ex-Tide aces nearly perfect in baseball playoffs

New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson is 3-0 in his career in the baseball postseason. (AP photo by Patrick Semansky)

Former Alabama pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Hunter are on opposite sides in the American League baseball playoffs, but they’re on the same page in one regard:

It’s nearly impossible to get on base against either reliever. Robertson pitches for the New York Yankees and Hunter is with the Baltimore Orioles, and they’ve combined to retire 17 of 19 batters through four games. The two teams are tied 2-2 and play a deciding fifth game today at 4 p.m.

Robertson has pitched in all four games, allowing one hit in 4 1/3 innings of work. He has struck out five batters and picked up the win in Game 3.

Hunter has pitched in two games, working 1 1/3 innings and striking out one. One batter reached on an error against him.

Whichever player’s team wins today, another former Alabama player will be waiting in the American League Championship Series. Alex Avila catches for the Detroit Tigers. In a five-game playoff series against Oakland, he was 3-for-12 with a double, a homer and an RBI.

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Barrett Jones: Smart enough to play anywhere

Barrett Jones graduated in August 2011 with a 4.0 grade point average and is working on a master’s degree in accounting. (AP photo by David Quinn)

This is my story for today’s print editions:

TUSCALOOSA — With three-time academic All-American Barrett Jones in graduate school and carrying a 4.0 grade point average, Alabama coaches figured he was smart enough to figure out how to play center this season.

He has done so, and Alabama coach Nick Saban said there hasn’t been any talk at all of moving him back to either guard or tackle — two spots he played at Alabama before switching to center in the spring.

But as the Crimson Tide winds down preparations for Saturday’s game at Missouri and Jones readies for a sixth starting assignment hiking the ball, he said some of the most basic things about the position have proven to be the most significant adjustments.

“There are several,” he said. “Snapping the ball is a big adjustment. An adjustment people don’t talk about that much is being on the ball. The other two positions you’re about two yards off the ball, but at center you’re right there with a guy, especially against our defense that plays a lot of 3-4 that are right there in your face. That’s definitely one of them.”

Another big adjustment is making the snap when the quarterback is several yards behind him. As the center, he makes the position call for his teammates on the line. But he has to put his head down to look back through his legs at the quarterback.

That creates a problem for Jones, who seems to relish making those position calls. Jones said former starting center William Vlachos, who graduated after last season, used to poke a little fun at him for it. He used to joke that Jones wanted to make the calls from guard or tackle, even when it wasn’t his responsibility.

“The nightmare in all that is when I make my calls and then I put my head down and they move and then I put it back up and it’s different,” Jones said. “That’s really when it gets very difficult when you’re not able to see.

“I’m kind of a control freak so I don’t like that when I put my head up and it’s different. I have to rely on my guards to tell me what’s going on and what’s changed. That’s something we’ve been working on not just this week but for a long time.”

But Jones has done well enough that if he remains healthy, he appears headed toward a rare triple crown of offensive line play.

He was a third-team Associated Press All-American as a right guard his sophomore year but was uprooted and placed at left tackle, where he made first-team All-American and won the Outland Trophy as a junior. If he earns All-America honors again this year, that would mark three times at three different positions.

At least one defensive lineman is rooting for Jones to land that postseason honor.

“Barrett is a great athlete,” Alabama defensive end Damion Square said. “Barrett can play all across the front. He’s a very smart athlete. He plays the game in his mind. It’s amazing how he plays his game in his mind.

“He’s not a real physical guy, but he’s a guy that’s so hard to beat because he’s always in the right spot at the right time. He changes up his set from center to tackle. That’s a very hard thing to do — to move from offensive tackle to center in the spring and come and play in the SEC every week and do that. All the accolades Barrett has, he deserves them and more.”

Jones remains a favorite of Saban, and the coach said it doesn’t always have to do with his football ability.

“I’ve said this many times, and maybe I can’t say it as well each time: Barrett Jones is probably as fine a person, in terms of his leadership, his example that he sets, the willingness that he has to serve other people with his time, in terms of all the things he’s done to help other people,” Saban said. “He’s one of the best students I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach, relative to his grade point average and how successfully he is academically.”

When you include his football ability, Saban added, “Just not very many people like him. He’s special.”

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Alabama fan video “Built By Bama”

Several folks have asked for a video of the “Built By Bama” video that’s shown at Bryant-Denny Stadium before home games this season. It includes snippets of fan videos and has the song “Some Nights” by the band “fun.” playing in the background.

Unfortunately, this is the best copy I’ve been able to find. A fan shot it from the stands using an iPhone 4 and isn’t great quality — although it’s better than I could do. As soon as I find a better copy, I’ll replace this.

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Older Alabama pregame video

The one we posted the other day proved popular, so we went digging around for more.

This is an older pregame video, done before the last two national titles. It’s a good one, too, with more history, and it’s well edited.