But former Carver standout DeQuan Menzie impresses
By MICHAEL CASAGRANDE
Special to the Ledger-Enquirer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban didn’t name names, but there are a few players in the Alabama coach’s doghouse after Saturday’s scrimmage.
His message was clear: No jobs are guaranteed.
A few nameless players were demoted when their attitude didn’t pass Saban’s muster in the first of three spring scrimmages.
“Anybody around here that has a feeling of entitlement that just because they played last year, they don’t have to do things to a standard that we’ve set for what we want,” Saban said with increasing volume.
The extra depth and experience allows for some shuffling on the unofficial and unreleased depth charts.
“If we have somebody else, we’ll replace him,” Saban said. “We had a few players that I didn’t feel like really responded that way. Sometimes when you make those role changes, how they respond to that change goes a long way to telling me what kind of player they are, or it tells me what kind of competitor they are, because if they pout about it, that’s not really what we want.”
Senior cornerback DeQuan Menzie, a former Carver High standout, doesn’t seem to be in any hot water with Saban.
Coming off a season marred with injuries including a torn achilles tendon suffered last spring, the former JUCO transfer is back at full strength.
Saban specifically liked what he saw in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I think that DeQuan Menzie was a guy that if you went on the last scrimmage based on him being healthy and being able to practice all the time, I sort of felt like in that particular scrimmage he was our best corner,” said Saban who works most with the secondary in practice.
It’s never too early to look at the fall.
Though games that count are still five months away, the Tide started laying the groundwork for some of the looks it’ll see this fall.
“Today was the first day that we actually worked on next year’s opponent, looking at things that we don’t see from our own offense or our own defense that we will have to play against next year,” Saban said. “Our players sort of get the basic fundamental resource of information that they need so that when the time comes next year, we won’t be starting from scratch.”
A new approach
The list of differences between new offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and his predecessor Joe Pendry usually starts with their practice-field mentality.
Stoutland is without question louder and more excitable than the recently retired Pendry.
Returning right tackle D.J. Fluker said he’s learning a lot more about reading the defensive secondary. There are specific calls built into the blocking scheme when defensive backs test the edges of the line.
“So it’s been going pretty good,” the 6-foot-6, 335-pound sophomore said. “Even though (Stoutland) is new, it takes a little while to get used to him the yelling and stuff but it’s all good.”