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Sunday, October 22, 2006

An Open Letter (list, actually) to Mike Shula

Dear Coach Shula,

* Put Kenneth Darby on the bench. As a fellow Bama fan pointed out to me a few weeks ago Darby is too hoppy. He's too upright as he approaches the line of scrimmage and he hops side to side trying to find a hole. It's no wonder he has so many carries for loss and small gains this year. I'm not sure what happened to him during the off season but the kid has definitely lost his mojo. Get him running north and south from the moment he touches the ball to the moment he hits the ground then maybe he can have a little more playing time. But for now... Bench him. Johns, Castille, and McClain are perfectly able to move the ball on the ground.

* Find ways to get Jimmy Johns the ball more often. This kid is a multi talented playmaker. He was a quarterback in high school... Remember?? How about putting a couple of HB options in the playbook.

* Bama's red zone scoring percentage is heinous to say the least. The same can be said about our third down conversion rate. Stop trying to run it up the middle for a 5 yard gain.... It's NOT working out for you this year. Not only because of point #1 above but also because you ALWAYS do it. It doesn't take a genius defensive coordinator to sniff out your 3rd and short plan. Try running more cross routes and quick outs with Hall, Oakley, Brown and Caddell. These guys are good receivers... Just call their number. Plus if you bench Darby the ground game will actually work and the linebackers will have to play the line to guard against the run opening a hole for a quick slant and an easy 5-7 yard gain.

* Stop calling down field passing plays for Wilson. I like the kid and I think he is going to be exceptional in '07 and '08 but he's mediocre now. The majority of the balls he throws past 20 yards are underthrown leaving DJ Hall to do some aerial acrobatics to prevent an interception and hopefully come down with the ball. Not to mention the fact that he throws into double and triple coverage. Plus the offensive line ain't really in a position to give Wilson the time he needs to make a long pass. Also - he telegraphs every throw - he stares the receiver down from the line of scrimmage on. Even I know where he's going as soon as the ball is snapped.

* Grow a pair of balls. How dare you not go for a 4th and 1 inside the opponents 10 yard line. The Tide defense had proven that they could handle the Vols offense. I guess you figured Bama doesn't score in the red zone anyway... Might as well take 3 and move on. If we would have gotten the first and subsequently scored we could have won the game by 1 rather than lose by 3. You have GOT to learn to take some calculated chances. You are waaaaaayyyy too conservative.

I hope you take my advice to heart. LSU and Auburn will be less forgiving than Tennessee.

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