Why stop at 10? If I were playing Bama, I wouldn’t even have a punt returner back there. I’d sell out with 11 to block the punt. Even if DeLong gets the punt off, it will only be 30 yards and you don’t need to return it anyway.[emoji1662] in the headlight stare. Saw this in the Marine Corps many times over the years....Some people can do their job and handle intense pressure better than others. In college football, I guess you never know until you put someone on the field in front of 100K folks with 10 screaming monsters running straight at you!
OTOH... When I was a freshman in 1957 and playing intramural, Doc Lambert, the basketball coach, came around scouting for players when the roster was so skinny and got several, all from the NYC area. Out of that bunch came two convicted point-shavers - Cohen and Quindazzi...I must admit I'm confused as well.
On one hand, the coaches see all the players all week long, and are paid a lot of money to evaluate talent. Saban is the among the best at that who ever lived. And given our struggles, you have to think he's paying extra attention to this aspect. So my head tells me to trust that they play the best we have.
On the other hand, what could the walk-on kid do? A 16-yard shank? A 30-yard tail-dragger? Slow delivery resulting in a block? We already get all that. So my heart is puzzled as to what we have to lose.
If the status quo is really the best we have, I'd be scouring the intra-mural fields. Surely on a campus of nearly 40,000, somebody can be at least mediocre.
Agreed. The standard thinking is that punting and placekicking are largely mental, so you have those conversations in private, not on the field in front of crowd and teammates. Up to that point, Saban had been really patient with DeLong, at least in public, and had been so for two solid years. When he (Saban) departed from previous handling, my first thought was that the end had finally come.I read an espn.com article yesterday (also had video) about Dabo and the Clemson kicker. Apparently Dabo chewed him out on the sideline vs Florida State when he missed a 24 yard field goal (they were ahead 24-0 at the time). The same kicker had missed a 40 yarder in the North Carolina game.
Dabo changed kickers in the second half of the game Saturday and said he was disappointed in his kicker and wanted to give the other guy a chance. The other guy made everything. I thought that was interesting Dabo did that.
I think after Saban yelled at DeLong after that last bad punt, that may have been it for him. I hope the other punters get a chance this weekend.
I feel bad for him as well. Clearly, it's a mental thing, and I know he's trying his best...maybe trying too hard. But after two years of this, we've gotten to the point that the cause doesn't matter -- we simply have to have better performance out of the position. The fact is that early departures for the NFL and key injuries have taken a huge toll on our D. We just don't have the defense we normally have, and won't until next year.I truly feel bad for the young man. I`m sure than in the kicking camps and high school, and maybe even at practice now, he`s boomed some. I`m struggling, however, to recollect even one " good", much less " great " punt that he`s gotten off.
I feel bad for him too. The kid was a great punter in high school, but can't seem to make the mental adjustment to big-time college football. He must still look like the best option in practice or he wouldn't be out there. Reminds me of a pitcher I knew on our team back in college. Great guy, fun to be around, but apparently got psyched out by coaching. Even threw one over the backstop one time. (a true life Nuke Laloosh). Stayed a couple of years, did get a little better, but then left.I truly feel bad for the young man. I`m sure than in the kicking camps and high school, and maybe even at practice now, he`s boomed some. I`m struggling, however, to recollect even one " good", much less " great " punt that he`s gotten off.
I truly feel bad for the young man. I`m sure than in the kicking camps and high school, and maybe even at practice now, he`s boomed some. I`m struggling, however, to recollect even one " good", much less " great " punt that he`s gotten off.