Author: Jason Galloway

Jones shows signs of stardom against Spartans

Many thought this would be the year Julio Jones emerges into one of the top wide receivers in the country. The junior didn’t waste any time trying to prove that statement right in Alabama’s 48-3 victory over San Jose State Saturday. The first three plays of the game were completions to Jones, and a 13-yard end around four plays later set up the Crimson Tide’s first touchdown of the game. “Julio’s obviously an integral part of our offense,” quarterback Greg McElroy said. “We want to come out and get the ball on some high completion percentage-type stuff – get the rhythm going a little bit. I was really happy to see him make some guys miss and run the ball effectively, too.” Jones and Georgia’s A.J. Green were undoubtedly the top two wide receiver prospects coming out of high school in 2008, but being one of the top couple pass catchers at the college level was not something that accompanied Jones right away at Alabama. The 6-foot-4 Jones is a physical receiver with big-play ability, but he has also been known to have quiet games in the past, and drops have not been uncommon in his first two years at the Capstone. Near the end of last season, Jones began to show flashes of the hype that surrounded him when he came to Alabama, and on Saturday, a new...

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Position grades: San Jose State

Offense: 3.8 Maybe Alabama doesn’t even need defending Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. The Crimson Tide looked great through the air and on the ground, validating its depth by continuing to pile on points after the starters were pulled. Eddie Lacy’s fumble on the goal line in the first quarter was the only thing that kept the offense from a 4.0. Defense: 3.6 There weren’t many signs of nine lost starters on the defensive side of the ball Saturday, as Alabama only gave up three points to the Spartans. The defense did, however, give up a 32-yard run and a 49-yard pass to a much inferior opponent, rare occurrences when it came to last year’s unit. Special teams: 4.0 Freshman punter Cody Mandell wowed fans with two high-arching, 52-yard punts, and freshman kicker Cade Foster went 2-for-2 and booted most of his kickoffs to the end zone. The return game didn’t get many opportunities, but one of the few they did get was a long kickoff return from Trent Richardson. Coaching: 4.0 AJ McCarron’s appearance early in the second quarter brought confusion, but head coach Nick Saban said after the game that was his plan all along. In a 48-3 victory, you really have to nit-pick to knock any points from the coaching staff. Everything was clicking offensively and...

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NFL lockout could benefit Alabama

It appears nothing good could come from an NFL lockout in 2011. The players won’t play, the owners will lose more money and the only thing professional football fans can watch on the weekends will be the upstart United Football League. What will happen when this season concludes and no more progress has been made between the NFL owners and Players’ Association towards a new collective bargaining agreement? I’ll tell you what’ll happen. Alabama fans will celebrate. Crimson Tide stars Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Marcell Dareus, Dont’a Hightower and Mark Barron are all somewhere between likely and extremely likely to enter the 2011 NFL Draft before their college eligibility runs out. That is, unless they believe their rookie season wouldn’t come until 2012 anyway. Let me give some background on the possibility of an NFL work stoppage next season. In 2006, the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the players and the league was signed. It gave the players 59.5 percent of all football-related revenue. Because some teams make more than others, and the salary cap is the same for each club, some teams have to spend a higher percentage of their income to put players on the field. Several teams (Giants, Jets, Colts, Cowboys) have built new stadiums since this deal happened in 2006. These stadiums are creating a boost in revenue for those particular teams, and 59.9...

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