So I was digging around the college football subreddit (r/cfb for those familiar) the other day trying to find something to churn out this week and found this nice little kernel of information (from al.com)
“Every receiver in our receiver corps can honestly beat every one of their DBs one-on-one in coverage,” [Dez] Fitzpatrick said in a video tweeted by WLKY-TV. “It ties into the other stuff, if the blocks are right, if the quarterback’s drop is right, we ran eight-yard routes instead of a 10-yard route, that’s the kind of stuff I feel like we need to sharpen up.”But I feel like straight talent-wise, I feel like we have the upper edge against their secondary, 1,000 percent.”
I think conventional wisdom (and the bulk of the commenters of the Reddit post) believe that such talk only adds fuel to the fire for the Bama secondary. Images of Nick Saban catching wind of those words while leaning back in his office chair and fiendishly rubbing his hands together are far too easy to conjure.
So with all this conventional wisdom going against us, how can we spin this as something beneficial for the good guys? How can we feel good about what amounts to be poking the bear?
I can’t imagine preseason confidence in football is something hard to come by. Everyone thinks they have a shot—even if Bama was opening up against Hanover College, I’m sure some receiver on the underdog squad would at least entertain some thoughts of shredding their secondary, no matter how delusional those thoughts were. And, I mean, that’s what we’ve come to expect out of wide receivers, not just in college but also in the NFL. They are the shit-talkers, and they often are the mouthpieces for their respective fanbases.
Now that we’ve established that this is normal, how can this be, in any way, shape, or form, good for this team and this fanbase?
Obviously, this is one of those cases that can make our fanbase a little more nervous than excited going into this thing. I do think we can also siphon off a little bit of excitement from Dez Fitzpatrick’s words. Is it really going to kill us to have to eat those words if that winds up being the case? The real repercussions affect the players on the field, but for the fanbase they are all part of the hype circus we’ve come to know and love. It’s the reason for the pants-obliterating excitement evident on this very website just over three years ago.
I honestly feel like it’s more of a good thing that this specific WR unit is walking into this thing thinking that we have an advantageous, exploitable habit. I don’t think this represents any sort of underestimation, but maybe more just a little overconfidence. And, (with hopefully Jaylen Smith in tow), we do have an edge in experience. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. Maybe it winds up being that chink in the Alabama armor many teams before us have failed to see.
So, I guess I want to say to Dez that, yes, 1000% is statistically a lot, but I’m behind you 1000% of the way. I hope the rest of the fanbase feels the same, regardless of the result on the field.