Tag Archives: NFL

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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McElroy finishes pro workout

There wasn’t much of the NFL crowd at the Alabama indoor facility for Greg McElroy’s makeup pro day workout this morning. Only the Seattle Seahawks sent a scout and a coach to watch the former Crimson Tide quarterback.

He threw routes to ex-Tide receiver Earl Alexander and former South Alabama receiver Courtney Smith. Alexander pulled a hamstring on his second-t0-last route and didn’t finish.

Preston Dial was also there, but limited because of a sports hernia. He caught a few passes without running routes.

In all, McElroy didn’t look too bad considering he hasn’t been throwing much this spring because of the broken bone in his throwing hand.

Hopefully you can check back for video soon. My camera and computer aren’t playing nice right now. I’m hoping to resolve that soon.

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Kareem Jackson taking heat for cockfighting pictures

Former Alabama defensive back Kareem Jackson drew criticism this week when he tweeted pictures from a cockfight he attended on vacation in the Dominican Republic.

The pictures have since disappeared from the Twitter page of the current member of the Houston Texans, but you can see them by clicking here on a story by the local CBS affiliate. Also read this from the Houston Chronicle.

Roger Goodell might be a little busy with that labor issue, but this will likely cross his desk after its resolved.

Check back later for coverage from pro day in rainy Tuscaloosa.

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UPDATED: The NFL Network will not be live at UA pro day

UPDATE: There was some confusion about Alabama’s pro day and the NFL Network. As it turns out, there will not be live coverage of the event on the NFL Network, as was previously reported. They will be there filming, but it will not be live. My mistake.

The localized version of the scouting combine will take place Wednesday morning in the UA indoor complex and weight room.

The 40-yard dash and agility drills will start somewhere in the neighborhood of 11:30 a.m. CST.

Pro day at Alabama produced its share of headlines the past two years. In 2009, Andre Smith’s shirtless 40-yard dash became infamous. Rolando McClain’s revelation of his Crohn’s Disease was the big story.

What could possibly happen this year? Stay tuned for updates.

Three go pro, one stays, others on fence

There are several ways of attacking the news that came out of the announcement made less than an hour ago. The last posting was done on my phone so there wasn’t much time or ability to write much more. Here are the bullet points.

  • Mark Ingram, Julio Jones and Marcell Dareus are heading to the NFL.
  • Dont’a Hightower is sticking around for at least one more year. He has two seasons of eligibility left after receiving a medical redshirt in 2009.
  • Nick Saban referenced it and some of the players did to. This might not be over. Saban said there were still juniors weighing options. Hightower said Mark Barron is still making up his mind.
  • The player who left who struggled the most with his decision was Jones. He said the decision wasn’t made until last night.
  • Ingram said he told Saban his decision on Monday.
  • Dareus said he made up his mind a few weeks ago.