Tag Archives: NFL

Pro day 2

Alabama defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (3) tries to get the crowd to cheer louder during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (3) tries to get the crowd to cheer louder during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo)

Alabama will hold its second pro day Tuesday for former football players trying to impress NFL scouts before the May draft.

Several players missed the first one due to injury. Safety Vinnie Sunseri, defensive lineman Ed Stinson and offensive lineman Anthony Steen are expected to work out for scouts for the first time.

Kickier Cade Foster, defensive back John Fulton, linebacker Adrian Hubbard, offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio and linebacker C.J. Mosley are expected to participate to some extent.

Tide success in NFL

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) rushes against San Francisco 49ers defense during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo)

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) rushes against San Francisco 49ers defense during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo)

Former Alabama running back Eddie Lacy was named the Pro Football Writers of America NFL Rookie of the Year on Tuesday. Lacy and former Crimson Tide offensive tackle D.J. Fluker were also named to the PFWA’s All-Rookie Team.

Lacy, a second-round pick in last year’s NFL draft, led all NFL rookies and broke Packers franchise records finishing the season with 1,178 rushing yards on 284 carries with 11 total touchdowns. Lacy started 15 games and added 35 receptions for 257 yards.

He had four 100-yard efforts on the ground, tied for most among NFL rookies and tied for fifth among all players. Lacy was named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month in October and was tabbed the NFL Offensive Player of the Week after a 141-yard performance in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Fluker starred at right tackle for the San Diego Chargers. The first-round selection started in every game but one, playing a pivotal role up front that helped the Chargers reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

San Diego Chargers tackle (76) D.J. Fluker on the field during a game against the Oakland Raiders played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. (AP Photo)

San Diego Chargers tackle (76) D.J. Fluker on the field during a game against the Oakland Raiders played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. (AP Photo)

The Tide in the NFL

Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson runs against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson runs against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The NFL made its final cuts to 53-man rosters last weekend and 35 Alabama players remain on rosters.

The Crimson Tide have 31 players on the active rosters, three on injured reserve and Robert Lester was signed to the Carolina Panthers practice square.

Alabama had a nine players selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, a modern-era record, and numerous others signed to free agent contract.

With the 2013 NFL season getting underway on today, 12 players from the 2012 Crimson Tide national championship team are represented on NFL rosters. All nine draft picks made rosters while undrafted free agents Carson Tinker (Jacksonville, long snapper) and Damion Square (Philadelphia, defensive line) also earned roster spots.

Of the 35 Alabama players on NFL rosters this season, 30 played at least one season with coach Nick Saban. The four players that predate him are Roman Harper, Jarret Johnson, Evan Mathis, Le’Ron McClain and DeMeco Ryans.

Here’s the list of Alabama Players on NFL Rosters
Javier Arenas, DB, Arizona Cardinals
Mark Barron, S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
James Carpenter, G, Seattle Seahawks
Josh Chapman, NT, Indianapolis Colts
Terrence Cody, NT, Baltimore Ravens
Marcell Dareus, DT, Buffalo Bills
Brandon Deaderick, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Quinton Dial (IR), DE, San Francisco 49ers
D.J. Fluker, OT, San Diego Chargers
Wallace Gilberry, DE, Cincinnati Bengals
Roman Harper, S, New Orleans Saints
Dont’a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
Kareem Jackson, DB, Houston Texans
Jarret Johnson, LB, San Diego Chargers
Rashad Johnson, S, Arizona Cardinals
Mike Johnson, OG, Atlanta Falcons
Nico Johnson, LB, Kansas City Chiefs
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Barrett Jones, G, St. Louis Rams
Dre Kirkpatrick, DB, Cincinnati Bengals
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
Robert Lester (PS), S, Carolina Panthers
Evan Mathis, OG, Philadelphia Eagles
Le’Ron McClain, RB, San Diego Chargers
Dee Milliner, CB, New York Jets
Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns
DeMeco Ryans, LB, Philadelphia Eagles
Andre Smith, OT, Cincinnati Bengals
Damion Square, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Tinker, LS, Jacksonville Jaguars
Courtney Upshaw, LB, Baltimore Ravens
Chance Warmack, G, Tennessee Titans
Michael Williams (IR), TE, Detroit Lions
Jesse Williams (IR), DT, Seattle Seahawks 

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (27) chases down Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant after a reception by Bryant during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (27) chases down Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant after a reception by Bryant during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

One more word from Saban about the NFL

Nick Saban said again he's not going back to the NFL. (Copyright photo by Gary Cosby Jr. of The Decatur Daily)

Nick Saban said again he’s not going back to the NFL. (Copyright photo by Gary Cosby Jr. of The Decatur Daily)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — You knew this was coming. Nick Saban fielded another question this morning about NFL interest in him. Saban issued yet another reponse about how he isn’t planning to go anywhere.

As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, Saban realizes he shouldn’t have said in 2006 he wasn’t going to Alabama. He has said privately he didn’t handle that well and knows that is why he will face constant questions about whether he’ll stay or go.

Today’s answer marked his most interesting statement yet about the NFL because he reveals some of the factors that caused him to leave the league in the first place.

“Well, you know, how many times do you think I’ve been asked this question? How many times do you think I’ve been asked to put it to rest? And I’ve put it to rest, and you continue to ask it. So I’m going to say it today, that — you know, I think somewhere along the line you’ve got to choose. You learn a lot from the experiences of what you’ve done in the past.

“I came to the Miami Dolphins, what, eight years ago for the best owner, the best person that I’ve ever had the opportunity to work for. And in the two years that I was here, had a very, very difficult time thinking that I could impact the organization in the way that I wanted to or the way that I was able to in college, and it was very difficult for me, because there’s a lot of parity in the NFL, there’s a lot of rules in the NFL.

“And people say you can draft the players that you want to draft; you can draft a player that’s there when you pick. It might not be the player you need, it might not be the player you want. You’ve got salary cap issues. We had them here. You’ve got to have a quarterback. We had a chance to get one here; sort of messed it up.

“So I didn’t feel like I could impact the team the same way that I can as a college coach in terms of affecting people’s lives personally, helping them develop careers by graduating from school, off the field, by helping develop them as football players, and there’s a lot of self-gratification in all that, all right.

“So I kind of learned through that experience that maybe this is where I belong, and I’m really happy and at peace with all that. So no matter how many times I say that, y’all don’t believe it, so I don’t even know why I keep talking about it.”

Relaxing in Miami hotel, former Tide starter gets call from Ravens

Seven more former Alabama football standouts joined the eight drafted in the NFL over the weekend. Here’s the story of offensive lineman Alfred McCullough’s path to the Baltimore Ravens …

TUSCALOOSA — Watching hour after hour of the NFL draft didn’t interest Alfred McCullough.

The Athens High graduate had his mind on basketball Saturday afternoon. He had driven to south Florida to take his cousin to a Miami Heat game when his phone rang.

“I was chilling in my room in Miami, and they asked how I felt about being a Raven,” McCullough said Sunday on a break from the 15-hour drive back to Limestone County. “We made the deal.”

McCullough, an offensive lineman, was one of seven former Alabama players who signed free-agent deals in the hours after eight teammates were taken in the NFL draft. He will reunite with linebacker Courtney Upshaw, the second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, also home to ex-teammates Terrence Cody and Chavis Williams.

“It’s always been a dream to make the NFL,” said McCullough, a starter in six games as a senior including the BCS National Championship Game.

“It’s just surreal right now.”

A few other NFL teams called later on, but McCullough already had a deal. He plans on training in Athens for two more weeks before heading to the Baltimore mini-camp. The real test comes in August when McCullough, all the drafted players, and returning veterans compete for the team’s 53 roster spots.

Click here OR here for the full story.

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Photo gallery from Alabama’s day at the NFL draft

Click to enlarge.

We’re back in Radio City Music Hall for the second and third rounds of the NFL draft. Courtney Upshaw, you’re on the clock.

But before the picking begins, take a look back at Thursday’s first round with a few photos snapped by this amateurish amateur of a photographer. Stay tuned for full coverage all evening.

NFL draft in Radio City Music Hall

 

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Best of Trent Richardson video from Alabama years

Here’s my best effort to edit down all kinds of Trent Richardson video into a quick package you can enjoy on the run. So, here you are … the best of the Richardson footage I had as he readies for Thursday’s NFL draft.

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Alabama sending five to NFL draft ceremony

Of the 26 players invited to attend the first round of the NFL draft, five came from Alabama.

Running back Trent Richardson will be joined by four defenders. Linebackers Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower got the call along with defensive backs Dre Kirkpatrick and Mark Barron.

There could be a sixth Tide representative could make the April 26 trip to New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

“The players asked me to go, and out of respect for them, I’d love to go,” coach Nick Saban said. “I’ll do everything I can to support our players.”

LSU will send three to the ceremony televised live in prime time on national TV.
Alabama had four first-round picks a season ago.

“When you look at all the first-round draft picks, there are some stats out there that we’ve had more than most and more juniors that came out and were first round draft picks than most,” Saban said. “We’ve certainly seen our share in the past three or four years.”

The Tide had at least one first-rounder in each of the past three drafts and four went in the first 10 picks.

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Good morning, it’s pro day in Tuscaloosa

The crush of NFL coaches, scouts and executives will return to Tuscaloosa this morning.

With several potential first-round draft picks on campus, Alabama’s pro day activities will certainly draw most, if not every franchise to the football facility.

But not all of the Crimson Tide’s draft-eligible talent will take part.

Offseason injuries will keep running back Trent Richardson and safety Mark Barron from participating in the physical exercises, which will include the 40-yard dash and agility drills. An alternate date for their workouts is set for later this month.

Among those expected to participate today include cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, a potential top-10 pick, and linebackers Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower.

Just about any senior from last year’s team can take part, including receivers Darius Hanks and Marquis Maze and cornerback DeQuan Menzie.

Last year, every NFL franchise attended Alabama’s pro day. Jets head coach Rex Ryan and Broncos executive John Elway were among the big names who crowded into the Alabama weight room and indoor training facility to watch Mark Ingram, Marcell Dareus, and others.

Follow the blog for full live coverage of today’s festivities.

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Richardson, Kirkpatrick discuss decisions they face with NFL draft

Speculation about the NFL draft will continue a little longer for two possible early entrants who just completed their junior seasons.

Both running back Trent Richardson and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said they were still considering all options after Monday’s game.

“It’s going to be hard,” said Kirkpatrick, a projected first-round pick. “I’m going to sit down with coach (Nick) Saban, also with my family. If the decision is right for me, I’m going to go for it.”

Winning a second national title “kinda plays a big part,” in his decision.

Richardson had a similar message when asked in the postgame locker room.

“I really haven’t said nothing about it,” Richardson said. “I was focused on the game. I’m going to sit down with coach Saban and my momma and have a conversation about this and see where it goes from there.”

Read a few more notes like this one in tomorrow’s paper.

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Former Tide signee Ricks cut by Ravens

The NFL career for former R.A. Hubbard High star and Alabama signee Michael Ricks hit a snag this week. He was cut by the Ravens on Monday. Here’s what I wrote for print today.

No matter how much you prepare, the news is never easy.

Michael Ricks found out Monday morning he was cut by the Baltimore Ravens two weeks after signing as an undrafted free agent. Naturally, he was disappointed, but he’s hopeful for the future.

“Oh man, I’m just sitting here waiting for the phone call,” he said Tuesday.

Read more by clicking here.

Meanwhile in Tuscaloosa, two-a-days start today. First workout starts at 9:30 a.m. Check back for updates after that.

Tracking the Alabama free agent signings

Julio Jones at Saturday's Falcon practice. (AP photo by John Bazemore)

All five Crimson Tide players drafted in April have contacts in place. Here is the master list with two free agent pickups included.

First round
3. Marcell Dareus (Bills) $20.4 million/four years
6. Julio Jones (Falcons) $16.2 million/four years
25. James Carpenter (Seahawks) details unknown
28. Mark Ingram (Saints) $7.4 million/four years

Seventh round
208. Greg McElroy (Jets) details unknown

Free agents
Preston Dial (Lions)
Luther Davis (Bills)

The salary information came from the Associated Press. Julio Jones’ contract particulars came via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

If you want to see just how much different the rookie pay scale is under the new CBA, click here for the contract numbers for the 2009 first rounders.

For the vets, former Tide defensive back Roman Harper re-signed with the Saints for four years and $28.5 million.

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Ingram signs deal, gets new jersey number

Ingram chats with Drew Brees on Saturday. (AP photo by By Haber)

Mark Ingram signed his contract with the New Orleans Saints and watched Saturday’s practice from the sidelines. The AP story reports his contract is worth $7.4 million over four years.

You’ll see from the photo above, Ingram has a new jersey number.

The No. 22 he wore at Alabama belonged to veteran cornerback Tracy Porter. So Ingram wore No. 28 to Saturday’s practice.

Ingram didn’t practice Saturday because he didn’t participate Friday while contract talks continued.

As you can see from this photo, he wore No. 7 as a senior at Southwestern Academy in Flint, Mich.

To see the full story from the Associated Press, continue reading by clicking below.

Continue reading

Updating a story from a few months back

Michael Ricks

Remember the story about Michael Ricks, the former Alabama recruit from Courtland who ended up at Stillman? We chronicled his road back to the top of his game where he hoped would lead to the NFL.

Well, the April draft came and went without his name being called. And because of the labor issues, free agents like Ricks had little to do. Just sit, wait, and wait some more.

Now the lockout is over and the free agent market is a circus. The former R.A. Hubbard star said he’s heard from the Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons in the past day.

He is weighing his options and hoping to come to a decision by first thing Wednesday morning.

Keep it here for any updates.

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Ex-Tide TE agrees to free agent deal

The reports on the web indicate former Alabama tight end Preston Dial already found a NFL home. That lockout wasn’t over a few hours before the story made the rounds.

Dial is reportedly heading to the Detroit Lions. Read this or this for more details. There’s still a lot of work to do before he can land a roster spot. Remember, he was not drafted in April.

Dial was the go-to tight end as a receiver last season. His 25 catches for 264 yards ranked fourth on the team as a senior.

From a beat writer’s point of view, Dial was always solid when meeting with reporters. A friend to the media indeed.

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