Four days to Tuscaloosa. I’ll be at practice this morning and then working on a few different stories in the run-up to Thursday. Hopefully you read two excellent stories by Steve Hummer and Michelle Hiskey about the game.
You all hopefully will get your fill this week.
1. I was at practice Saturday, which was like most practices I’ve been to. But Bill Curry said something that maybe shouldn’t have caught my notice, but did. I’ll smooth over some details a little bit, but here’s basically what happened. A player screwed up, following a couple other players at his position making the same mistake. Curry, who was watching the offense and defense working against each other from perhaps 40 yards downfield, said into his megaphone, “Guys, if we’re going to win this game, we’re going to have to” not make the mistake they’d been making.
I imagine I’ve heard him say something like that a dozen times and never paid much attention. The obvious difference, of course, is that that was before a game that his team had a clear chance of winning. What was interesting to me was that it wasn’t forced, just matter of fact.
I asked him about something related later, if there was a time in reviewing video of Alabama where he kind of had an “Oh, my goodness, what are we up against?” moment.
His answer: “No. I haven’t done that in my life. There were times I should have. Since I was a little kid, and you can call it a blessing or a curse, but I always think my team’s supposed to win. Always, always, always. There were times when that was an embarrassment and there’ve been times when that yielded very surprising results.
“I’ll tell you this. If the head coach doesn’t believe you’re going to win, then he needs to go home. He needs to quit and get somebody else to coach the team. I would not put these kids on a bus if we didn’t have a plan that given certain circumstances gives us a chance to compete with these guys.”
2. The plan for Tuesday’s paper is to run a story on quarterback Drew Little (though plans are subject to change, I should add). I imagine some of you might know this, but if not for Chan Gailey’s firing in 2007 at Georgia Tech, Little likely would’ve been a Jacket. Offensive coordinator John Bond, who was Gailey’s quarterbacks coach, had been recruiting him to Tech, and Bond said that Gailey liked him, as well. Further, Little grew up a Tech fan. Bond told me that the school probably would have ended up offering him a scholarship if Gailey hadn’t been fired.
But, as you know, he was and Paul Johnson came in and, given the considerable difference in his offense and Gailey’s, the recruitment ended there.
Another tidbit. Bond said that when Little drops back to pass, he makes the right decision on where to go with the ball about 85 percent of the time. A typical redshirt freshman quarterback, Bond said, “I would guess you’d hope for 65 percent, maybe.”
3. If you’re still on the fence about going to the game, just wanted to pass along an option. The Touchdown Club of Atlanta is offering a game ticket, bus ride, food and beverage for $100. There’s apparently 15 spots left on the bus. Or there were when executive director Lee Baker at the touchdown club sent out an e-mail about it. A good group of folks – I imagine they’d be good company. You can e-mail Lee at lbvba at bellsouth.net.
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