Alabama Four: Part IV.
was an "elite wide receiver" and "elite runningback"
that Urban Meyer recruited out of high school. His
"elite" abilities with the ball in his hands really shows up
on returns. I think I keep saying this every year, but... He will be worth
a 2nd Round pick if he can just keep Edelman off punt and kick return
duties. "I mean, we'll see about Malcolm [Mitchell]," BB said.
"Cyrus obviously can return." I mean, some rookie has to come in and eventually do it, right? He
is so quick bursting side to side to make guys miss on punt returns that
it can be funny sometimes. He also returned kick offs, which seems
less important now.
only starting positions that are really available for this crop of rookies
are the two starting returner roles. "The guys that have done it have been really
good," Cesario said. "I mean Danny was one of the league leaders last year. Julian who had never done it before, his average is like one of the top punt returners in history. That's a hard I would say skill and position to develop so if you have multiple players that can actually handle the ball then you can figure out OK well maybe we can take his workload and redistribute it somewhere else. In the end we're going to do what we think is best for the football team. If a guys not ready to do it then we're not going to have him do it even if he has the experience and he's done it. We're not going to really know. Look, it's the same thing. These guys are all starting from a blank slate. Like everything they've done to this point like honestly doesn't matter so now they're going to show up here next week and basically start from scratch. There's probably going to be some things that Joe and Bubba will coach them to do in terms of fielding the ball, handling the ball, may be a little bit different. OK, how do they handle that? How do they read the ball? Can they adjust to our blocking pattern? So there's a whole number of things that go into it and then he's trying to learn a new position so it's just a matter of how quickly they can perform the task at a good level relative to another player at that same position and then ultimately we'll figure out whoever's the best option for us and however we think is the best at that time then we'll go ahead with him in that capacity."
You could see Mitchell as the starting Kick returner, and Cyrus as the
starting punt returner.
does not have a chance to start as a rookie, unless they have injuries
like they had at O-tackle last year. "It's huge," BB said about
the difficulty of transitioning to the NFL. "They have no idea what they're getting into. It's not their fault. We all had to go through it at some point or another. They're going to get a big dose of what they probably haven't had a whole lot of certainly any time recently. It's a big load. The competition level is going to step up. The volume is going to step up. It's not a scholarship. In college they can't take them away from you. In the NFL you're fighting for a job so it's a whole new ball game. Those guys have a lot to absorb, a lot to learn but just like every other rookie class they'll get through it. We'll have some ups and downs but we'll start the process on Thursday night when they come in. We'll just be grinding away here for the next few weeks."
He could earn a spot as the Dime/punt-returner by September if everything
goes extremely well.
it is not just predictable, but optimal for Cyrus and the Pats that he
never starts a game next year as a traditional starter (I conceder the Nickel
Corner to be the 12th starter on defense). "The way phase two is set up we can integrate them into some
things," BB said. "There will certainly be plenty of times when they're by themselves as a group to go over the things both in and out of football. Regarding football and outside of football that they need. Education on that they need to, I'd say that they're going to need instruction on and so forth and that'll certainly be geared towards them. But they'll work in with the veteran players and their training in some meetings and on-field work and things like that. So there will be some of that and then they're obviously is going to be a lot of extra and just all of the transitioning. Just coming into a new team from wherever it is that they're coming from and understanding pro football and just the whole transition process. It's a big step for any of us when we do that. Especially for a lot of these guys.
Some of them haven't made that big of a transition. Some have but some haven't."
Everybody gets so excited for the Draft and thinks it will produce ten instant
starters. The only instant starter last year was Malcolm Brown, and even
he didn't start from day one. Jones might become the Nickel starter, but
more like he is the starting Dime Corner and punt returner as a rookie.
he has the prerequisite versatility in college. "There's a lot of different scenarios that we talk through at the time as we were working
across," Cesario said, "There were some different players who were graded equally. I think the thing that tipped the scales in Cyrus' favor a little bit was his overall versatility - punt return - that's a huge component of what we do and we thought he had the ability. So, to be a punt returner and to play, we'll see where he can actually play, in terms of corner. He played primarily on the perimeter at Alabama. We'll look at everything and then decide what we feel makes the most sense at this time. So, that's what we did what we did."
I see him as a Nickel Corner, who returns punts and
kick offs. He will be able to start outside and at Safety if injuries make
it necessary, but that is not what you want him doing. However, he
didn't have as much trouble as you would think covering big WRs in the
SEC. He is one
of those anomaly small guys, who excel at the rough stuff.
consider the Nickel Corner a starter, because they are always on the field
when it matter the most, and now they are also literally starters who play
over half the downs. "I don't think there's anywhere I can't line up and be successful on the football
field," Cyrus said. "I played outside most of my career at Alabama and I had success. I don't think there's any reason why I can't line up on Sundays and do the same thing, so I feel as though I'm very confident that I can play on the outside."
I think he'll have a Kyle Arrington role for the Pats. Where he is their
starting Nickel Corner, and plays it very well. But he can also start outside
when the inevitable injury happens. However, the longer he plays outside
the more some of his lacking traits will show up.
he has great traits for a Nickel corner, where you have to be quicker than
fast (6.71 3-Cone drill). But he also has speed (4.44 Forty at his
Proday). "It's everything,"
Cesario said when asked about prospects traits. "I mean it really is. We try to look each position on the board, each position they have their own particular factors and position skill set that we evaluate and we go through and we assign a grade and OK there's certain things that a corner's going to have to be able to do. There are certain things that a tight ends going to have to be able to do. Everyone has their own particular skills that they're going to have to do. So, OK, will he check every box? Well maybe not but does he check enough? And really the most important thing is to take the strengths of a player and try to put him into position to where he can utilize those strengths. Not ‘well he doesn't do this'. Then we won't put him in that position hopefully. So [we] try to identify what the skill is, how well they do it, and then put them in a position where they can actually see it so there's the physical component and then overall, call it football makeup component, is a central part of it as well. Look, we're not perfect. Some players work the way we think. It comes with the territory but you're trying to create a profile of the player within our building and then how he's going to handle everything that comes along with being a New England Patriot. Being in the program, the demands that we place on those players, so you factor everything in and some players they may check every single place both from a physical standpoint and form a football makeup standpoint and you have others that maybe they check enough of them and then you feel comfortable about that level. So those are decisions that we ultimately have to make so the most important thing is finding players that we feel fit the New England Patriots and however they end up getting here, then they get here, but the bottom-line is that's the most important players is give me players that we feel fit our program and what we're looking for on a multitude of levels."
He has all the traits you need to be a top Nickel in the NFL.
suddenness in his shoulders with the ball in his hands. He really has
elite quickness and COD. He has that knack for making big plays. I like
how he extends his arms at the line when he jams the WR. Nice recovery
speed running down the sideline. Nice hand placement on Jams. Nice
base and quick feet moving backwards. He has better eyes in Off and Bail
is short, but he is excellent against the run. He could play some free
safety in a pinch. He
is a little grabbing on the goal line, but can also explode up and punch
the Fade away from the tall WR.
He was the Number One CB, who covered the opponents
Number One WR last year. "I played nickel a good deal in practice but Coach Saban always wanted me on the outside so that's where I predominantly was in the season, and in games I was always pretty much trailing the top receiver for the opposite
team," Cyrus said, "So they would line up on the outside the majority of the time, so that's where I'd find myself. I can definitely play nickel. It's no problem if I have to slide inside."
He faced the top WRs in the SEC.
He plays fast, especially with the ball in
his hands. You can see his instincts as an offensive player are a little
more developed than as a defender. He still has a lot of growth
potential as a CB. He has only played CB for three years at Alabama. "Coach
Saban, you know, we were losing a couple of defensive backs after my freshman year and coach knew that I could play DB and he asked me, would I be willing to try it out for the spring
time," Cyrus said. "I bought in and I just wanted to help the team in any way possible and it worked out for me and the team."
He played a little DB in high school, but he was really an WR/RB in high
school. He play CB and special teams as a freshman:
FRESHMAN (2012): Played in 11 games as a true freshman, catching four passes for 51 yards ... returned 10 kicks for 250 yards ... also returned eight punts for 61 yards, with a long of 32 yards. Florida Atlantic: Caught one pass for 35 yards. Tennessee: Named one of the special teams players of the week by the Alabama coaching staff ... returned one kick 27 yards ... had four punt returns for 59 yards, including a long of 32. Mississippi State: One of the special teams players of the week by Alabama coaching staff ... returned two kicks for 76 yards, with a long of 41 ... also returned a punt for four yards.
Georgia: Returned four kicks for 89 yards, including a long return of 25
does have nice eyes as FS/CB, and can read plays before they develop. He
doesn't get as many INTs as he should, because he focuses on the WR so
much in Press, and
doesn't trust his eyes enough to look back at the QB yet. He struggles to
turn back and find the ball in the air in coverage. That will be the next
step in his evolution. When he sees the QB throw the ball he has great
ball skills. When he sees the ball in the air in coverage, he can knock it
down and in front of the WR. He just does do it
consistently enough yet. He has the ball skills to go and get the ball,
but not the CB instincts to consistently know when to look away from the
WR towards the QB.
RB instincts in the open field. He played some Slot WR for Alabama as a
young kid. Terrific flash and dash with the ball in his hands as a
freshman. He can catch the over throw, when playing free safety, and
return it for a TD, like it is a punt return. He is so quick in the open
field with the ball in his hands. Elite lateral burst to make tacklers miss that it is funny
sometimes. He has those elite natural instinct to see a tackler moving in
one direction, and cut back against the tackler's body movement to the other
side and make him
doesn't have the best instinct in Press Man. He locks onto the WR so much
the ball can hit him in the back. For a great WR with such great instincts
with the ball in his hands, and when the ball is in the air and he sees it,
he gives up too much when he is in Press and turns his back to the
QB. When he sees the pass, he has great timing going up and
getting the ball, or attacking the arms of the WR. Smart. Knows when he
has help over the top and where. Played better in Press as the season
played in a similar system as the Pats ran, where he could be in Press one
play, Bail the next, and in a zone on 3rd down. "I think it's prepared me a great
deal," Cyrus said. "Playing for Coach Saban. He's a great coach, arguably one of the best, arguably the best in the country.
And I've heard many things that he's compared to Coach Belichick and that our program is ran similar to how the Patriots' is run. I feel as though I'm greatly prepared for the next level thanks to Coach Saban and the people I had around me for four years, just getting me ready both on and off the field."
He is prepared to step into a Patriots type training camp after four years
film, and is known as a film room junkie. "I love watching
film," Cyrus said. "I used to get teased a lot at 'Bama by my coaches saying I should have an office where their offices were because I was in the film room so much and up there almost just as much as they were. I love watching film and think that's the key to becoming a better player. There are a lot of players in this league that have physical gifts and talent but you know working hard off the field, I think that's what separates you."
He is ready to think and practice like a Patriots player.
run defender. Knows how to use his hands on the blocking WR. He can
control him with his hands in his shirt as he sets the edge. Makes tackles
in the open field. Moves quickly through traffic and changes direction
with burst and quickness to get into position to make the tackle. He will
lower his shoulder pads and hit the QB or ball carrier in the gut. Nice
instinct on run blitz. He can slash past the OLT, and go and get the RB at
the LOS when he sees the hand off.
plays with elite attitude and intensity.
Loves football and competition, it mean everything to him and he shows it
on the field. "He is a Solid kid, yeah, absolutely," BB said.
"He's got a good story. works hard, and [is] versatile. He's a good player."
He is a leader who gives signals to the secondary in shifts,
rolls, and changes in coverage. Known for his great work habits and intensity
on practice field. Displays the Patriots traits that lead to success on
Bowl: He was great in coverage at the SB.
Jones had a terrific workout," Savage said. "He stood on all his
[Combine] numbers, but his position workout was very good: his footwork,
quickness, ball skills. I think if he can prove to people that he can play
in the nickel, which he didn't really do here, I think he's got a chance
to be a solid third or fourth." He played some Safety at
Alabama. He played Corner at the Senior Bowl and made some money.
has such great stop and go burst and quickness. "I’m
hearing anything from second to early third," Jones said.
"I'm not really worried about it. I’m looking forward to the
process and letting the chips fall where they may." I like him as a
Press Corner, but his instincts are so much better in Off and Bail when he
can play with his eyes facing the QB a little.
really looked like he was ready for the NFL at the Senior Bowl. "A
little bit of both," Jones said. "Obviously this is something that all of us have worked
for our whole lives, it's probably the biggest dreams that we’ve had
to this point. So you’re blessed to be in this position but it can be
stressful at times. You just have to take it in stride, remain humble and
be thankful that even got this opportunity. It’s no time to complain
because there are people out there who would die just to have this
opportunity." He has a hole in his swing, and will give up some space
off double moves in Out routes and comebacks outside. He doesn't' give up much, but he does seem to give it
up the most when his back is too the QB.
ST: He will grab shirt too much, and run stride for stride with the WR
down the sideline. He has to learn to run without his hands. Very intense
in Press coverage. Hungrily focused on the WR like a starving lion. He will
line up in Off, and zone the outside with responsibly short and in the
Flat. He does have experience in the Zone. He gets a nice jam in on the WR at
the line, and then turns and runs, but doesn't always have the instinct to
look back for the ball. He can give up the pass right over his helmet and
never see it. Needs technique work when to turn and look. Then the next
play he turns and looks and gets a great INT on the sideline. He can never
take his eyes off the QB, and shuffle back sidesaddle while adjusting to
the WRs route. The QB threw it and he
climbed up the ladder and took it. When he turns and looks and sees the QB
throwing ball he has elite ball skills.
Michigan State: Named Defensive MVP of the Cotton Bowl ... finished with three tackles and one interception which he returned for 21 yards ... his interception helped end an MSU scoring chance, as the Spartans were driving at the end of the first half before Jones’ pick on the goal line stopped the threat ... also added five punt returns for 80 yards with one returned for a touchdown ... his 57-yard return for a score was his fourth of the season to give him the Alabama all-time mark for punt returns in a single season, eclipsing the previous total of three that was shared by David Palmer (1991) and Javier Arenas
Auburn: I like this kid. He is
very under valued. He can switch off the jam of the slot guy, and cover
the outside guy. That is a very tough assignment for any CB. Very nice
recovery speed. He can get physical with the WR blocking him in the run
game. Despite his size he usually plays better when things get
physical. Knows when he doesn't have help over the top, and will give up
Digs and comebacks. He played some safety for Alabama and can still play
the run like a safety. He reacts to the ball in the air so well sometimes.
Auburn: Recorded two solo tackles and broke up a pass in the Crimson Tide’s 29-13 win on the Plains … helped limit the Tigers to 169 yards passing and just 260 total
Returns punts for
Alabama. "Definitely-definitely," Cyrus said. "Special teams are a key part of the game and I'm a punt returner. I enjoy that. That's one of the things I love most about playing football. I love having the ball in my hands and being able to make a play for my team, so I'm looking forward to being back there returning."
He does a nice job of finding a lane. Doesn't always look back
for the ball. He will have great position sometimes, and the ball will fly
right over his head for a catch. He is excellent in
coverage and just keeps making plays in the run game. Great
feet and hips. He is at his best when he can just run. He doesn't like WRs
getting behind him. He will let WR get a step on him going down field and
reach out and touch his shirt as he turns back to the QB. Struggles to locate
the ball sometimes. He has to learn
to play with his eyes and not his hands in the WR's shirt. He really has shutdown
every receiver they put him on this year. Plays bail with such a great base, smooth
hips, and elite feet. Nice deep speed outside. Georgia:
Recorded one tackle and a pass breakup ... also returned five punts for 53 yards with a long of 23 ... helped limit a Bulldog offense that was averaging 45.5 points per game to just 10 by day’s
I love his
concentration on the WR in coverage, but he sometimes forgets to turn
have top instinct when back is turned to the LOS. The ball actually
hit him in the back in coverage against LSU. Plays
some bail technique sometimes. I like him better when he bails, and turns
back to watch the QB. He
will also line up inside like a Box Safety. Nice blitzer off the edge. He
will give up some space for the QB to throw into when he has inside
leverage, and the CB breaks outside. He will take an extra step on double
moves sometimes. But he still recovers as quick as anyone. Great punt returner. He had another great return in the
3rd. The LSU QB really sucks,
but they shut him down all game.
LSU: Finished with one tackle as the Tide defensive front limited the Tigers’ ability to pass ... helped limit Brandon Harris to 128 yards passing and only six
well down the sideline with speed WRs, but he will forget to turn around
sometimes. Returns punts. He returned one for a TD against Miss ST that
changed the entire momentum of game for the Tide.
Nice quick feet. He has a bit of a hole in his swing in coverage on inside
out routes. But he has great COD, to snap outside and jump back on the WR. I
love his attitude on the field. Lines up in front of Stacks and
Bunches and mostly takes the guy who breaks outside, or short depending on his responsibilities.
Smart CB who understands his job in each scheme. Mississippi
State: Made four tackles on defense with two pass breakups … returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career ... his return in the second quarter was the Crimson Tide’s first score of the day and sparked a 14-0 run after being shut out in the first
Vs Michigan State:
is when he is at his best. When he Bails and keeps one eye on the QB. I
promised I would never make this comparison again, but... he plays Bail
and Off like Josh Norman. (:01). Here
he is in Press. He plays it with great balance and swivel hips (:09).
Watch the great feet as he moves inside, and extends his arms to jams the
WR. Then watch how he lets the WR go, and then bursts under him and catches
up to get perfect position. That is elite Press coverage at the beginning
of the route.
does he help the Pats as a rookie? He gets Edelman off the field on all
special teams units. Anything Edelman even thinks about doing on special
teams this year, you stick Jones into that role instead. Especially as a Punt
returner. Though calling for a fair catch is not a bad play, often a smart
one (:27). Moving back in a Zone like a FS
gets into position to make the tackle in the open field. Not the best
looking play. But his ability to understand his job, read the play, and
get into position saved the day.
up in Press, but he has one eye on the QB. He does have that knack for
taking great position on routes. He hops right on the WRs inside hip, and
then turns back inside (:50). Playing
like box safety. Gets up field quickly and sets the edge. Then watch how
he spins out of the hold, and takes the RB down. That was a great play (1:05). He
he is locked down in Press. He gets up in his face so much he forces him
to take an extra step. But he still gets his inside shoulder
stays in his pedal long enough for the WR to take four steps before he has
to turn and run
the hand fighting down field, which forces Burbridge for push off so badly
that he lost concentration on the ball and dropped it.
in Press. Watch him sink and then hop outside, which allows him to stay in
his pedal longer. However, he gives up the
sideline and has to turn his back to the QB. He has two holes in his game.
One is when
he has his back to the QB, and the other is that he gives up a little
space for the QB to throw into on double move that ends as an: out, dig,
or comeback. Other than that he was an elite shutdown corner last year (1:41). He
uses his feet to stay in his pedal long enough to play patty cake with the
WR, which takes him out of his pattern. That is shut down Press coverage
up in Press. I think he is great in Press, except that he too often ends
up with his back to the QB where he seems to lose his elite instincts
can't hold the pedal and has to turn and scamper down field. But the throw
is bad. I really like that series of Press coverage.
he is in Off with his eyes on the QB, which is when I like his game the
most. Although the more I watch him right on the line in Press the more I
like him in Press. And of course he's in a zone (2:04). He starts to bail
before the snap. He doesn't have help over the top so he gives it up
underneath (2:12). He steps back as the TE and WR run a
pick play. He picks up the outside guy. Cook dumps it off. He plays the RB
like a FS (2:21). I love how he stays up at the LOS and gets a Jam in
on the WR. Watch the great quick feet and loose hips as he turns sideways
and runs back with the WR (2:32). This disrupts the pattern, but
Cook is still locked onto him. He keeps outside contain, as he had help
inside by #24, who gets there a hair late.
gets in the way and slows the release for a step again, and then gets the
jam. He stays in his pedal for about five steps as he turns back inside. He
turns his hips enough to get his head back but he can't get his eyes on
the ball. When he has his back to the QB, he leaves a hole in his coverage
(2:50). This is when he is at his best. Watch how he stays in his
pedal as he moves diagonally backwards and gets his eyes on the QB. When
he gets his eyes on the QB, he is a shut down CB (2:58). You can
see his head turned to the QB, and is watching Burbridge in his peripheral
vision. He moves his feet angling backwards, to get in Burbridge's way
just a little. Then he is the high school WR with his eyes on the ball
running to the goal line (3:12). He goes up and gets the ball. When he intercepts the ball he always does a
great job turning it into a punt return.
turns and bails before the snap. He gets his eyes on the QB. Then comes up
and protects the sideline and makes the tackle (3:31). This is
what rookies look like in the NFL. He calls
for the fair catch, drops it, recovers it, and injures his thigh (4:08). He
stays in the game despite hurting his leg. He does a nice job shadowing
the WR on the inside pattern, Very tough kid (4:15). He has great instincts
where to run to find open field. He immediately bursts to his left with
the gunner and a blocker outside to his right. He sees his two blockers
have inside position, so he curls back inside. Then
he runs into some traffic, and makes a great burst outside to make at
least three guys miss (4:30). Then my favorite move. He hops up
like he is skipping-to-my-lou to help make the diving guy miss, but then
watch him land and plant the outside foot, and boom. He makes the last guy
miss who had him dead to rights. If that doesn't get you excited to see
him returning some punt as a rookie than I don't know what will.
contain on the Slot WR. He will be playing Nickel or Dime as a rookie. He
shifts in his zone three times. He helps force Cook to throw underneath,
and gets in on the tackle. It is really just Prevent stuff for the rest of
the game (4:56). Just
don't let your man get behind you for a cheap TD (5:07). He had
to go halfway across the field to get that punt. He makes the first three
guys miss. Uses his great feet to stay inbounds, and gets as many yards as
he can (5:19). Back in prevent. Watch how far off he plays the
underneath route. That is understanding what is going on in the game. His job is to not let his man get behind him (5:29). Here he is
making signals to roll the coverage, and he steps back to FS (5:38). He
runs straight backwards right off the snap. He uses his feet to stay
between the ball carrier and the endzone, which force him to slow a little
and get tackled from behind. Smarts and understanding the concepts of
the defense at different times and in different situations.
Vs Mich St:
Jones Vs LSU:
has such elite instincts and lateral burst with the ball in his hands.
First he bursts to the right, behind his teammates block, and then bursts up
field. Then the cut back behind another blocker, and that cute little Hop
cut to get back outside. Then he tries to cut back inside but runs into
too much traffic. That is a great return (:01). He
is so good at seeing his blockers and using his great lateral burst and
speed and get behind them.
his feet as he stays in his pedal for over five yards. A QB just can't
throw into that (:14). He
bails and turns away from the WR so he can see the ball (:26). Up
as the box safety. He comes up and takes out the FB (:34). You
just get to see his hips twisting as he turns to run down the sideline in
perfect position on the WR (:41). He
uses his great feet, aggression, and jam to hold the WR at the line for a
full second (:55). Then
watch the elite snap in his hips as his inside hip, which is too forward,
snaps open almost 180-degrees. He really has great hips. The QB
desperately wanted to go to his side (:58), and
you can see Cy shuts it down. So the QB has to take off.
he sees the ball in the QB's hands he is at his best. He reads run so fast the WR can't get
close to blocking him (1:06). He is a good blitzer from the
edge. He hits the QB right after he throws (1:14). He bails right
before the snap. Watch the great feet and hips as he 3/4ers back with his
eyes on the QB. I love him in Bail and Off coverage. He doesn't give up
much, but Dural breaks open outside (1:47). He will give up some
space on double moves. He has a hole in his swing in coverage on double
moves when they break Out. As you can see is it not huge hole. It is also when he shows his best recovery
he takes his eyes off the ball he often looses his great instinct he has
shown on Tape up to this point. He showed elite instinct through almost a
Tape and half. Then he gets caught with his eyes off the QB: the ball
hits him in the back, he gets called for a P-I, and looks like a rookie in
the NFL (2:10). You have to remember that he has only been a defensive player
for three seasons. His instincts where more honed on offense. Where
players are looking at the QB, the ball, and blockers more; Like when he is
returning punts and INTs. He sometimes shows
his lack of instinct in pure defensive situations, like when he has to
sprint downfield without a chance to see the ball or QB. He still doesn't
have the timing of a longtime CB has, for when to turn and try and spot the
ball in the air behind him. Which is the hardest thing to do for DBs.
does a nice job focusing on the QB in the Option. He stays in front of the
RB, which makes him loose position on the QB. But watch him turn on the
jets and get position back on the QB (2:35). This is a nice
example of his smarts in coverage. He stays under the WR, because he knows
he has help over the top (2:45). He can get physical at the point.
The WR ends up holding him, and gets thrown to the ground (2:52). Watch
this elite change of direction and recovery quickness (3:07). He
falls for the play action, and charges forward. Then sees his mistake and
instantly drops back into coverage on the WR.
plays the run like a FS (3:15). He bails and keeps his eyes on
the QB (3:24). He can not only makes guys miss with his quickness
and speed. He can also run through some tackles with his speed, feet, and squat
build (3:31). You can see him stay in his pedal and slow the
pattern down (3:52). He
turns and bails, and you can see the QB eyeing him down again, but Cy shut
it down (4:00). You can see him swivel his hips back, and
then watch him run down field with his eyes on the WR and QB (4:12).
He covers the hitch and go perfectly. He recognizes something in the
pattern and doesn't bite on the Hitch.
has such a great knack for staying in front of the WR when he bails (4:21). Watch
the physical jam that forced the WR to step outside and then up, which
destroyed the timing of the pattern (4:28). He shadows him
inside and shuts him down (4:38). He is one of those anomalies who is short,
but excels at the rough stuff. He is usually excellent on the goal
line (4:47). Watch the position and focus. This was such a big
play for me. His back is to the QB so he can't see the ball in the air. The
next level is to read the WR, and attack his arms or the ball when he
shows he is going to try and catch it. He sees the WR leap and attacks his
arms (5:16). He attacks a little early. It was pass inference,
but he finally made a play on the ball when he has his back to the QB. He
has to turn to do that without getting a P-I in the NFL.
SENIOR (2015): Developed into one of the nation’s top punt returners in 2015 while continuing his consistent play as one of college football’s top corners … flourished as an All-SEC performer in 2014 and returned for his senior year as the Crimson Tide’s most experienced defensive back ... had two interceptions and eight pass breakups on the season to go with 37 tackles, including four tackles loss (-16 yards) ... returned 42 punts for a total of 530 yards for an average of 12.6 yards per return ... had four punt returns for touchdowns, including a 57-yard return against Michigan State, a 69-yard touchdown at Mississippi State and 43- and 72-yard returns against Charleston Southern … his four punt returns for scores is the UA all-time single-season mark ... his 530 return yards rank second all-time in Alabama single-season history ... ranked 15th nationally and fourth in the SEC in punt return average ... led the nation in punt return touchdowns with four … anchored a secondary that ranked eighth nationally and second in the SEC in pass efficiency defense … named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after the Charleston Southern game where he set the school record with two punt returns for touchdowns in the same game … named one of the special teams players of the week against Wisconsin,
ULM, at Georgia, Arkansas, at Mississippi State, versus Charleston Southern and in the Cotton Bowl against Michigan State … also a defensive player of the week by the Alabama coaches for his play against Charleston Southern and Michigan State. Wisconsin: Started for the Crimson Tide at cornerback while also returning punts ... finished the night with two pass breakups on the defensive side ... helped limit the Badger offense to just 268 yards of total offense and 17 points ... returned four punts for a total of 25 yards with a long of 18. Middle Tennessee: Notched his first interception of the season and made three solo tackles ... returned on punt for five yards. Ole Miss: Made five tackles in the contest with the Rebels.
ULM: Collected one tackle from the cornerback spot ... returned a season-high five punts for 43 yards, with a season-long of 22 yards on one of the returns. Georgia: Recorded one tackle and a pass breakup ... also returned five punts for 53 yards with a long of 23 ... helped limit a Bulldog offense that was averaging 45.5 points per game to just 10 by day’s end. Arkansas: Recorded one tackle on defense ... added three punt returns for 39 yards, including a season-high of 27 yards that he almost broke for a score. Texas A&M: Recorded three solo stops, including a tackle for a loss (-3 yards), and one pass breakup ... helped limit the Aggie offense to a season-low 23 points while forcing a season-high four interceptions. Tennessee: Collected four tackles on the day ... helped limit the Volunteer passing game to 171 total yards. LSU: Finished with one tackle as the Tide defensive front limited the Tigers’ ability to pass ... helped limit Brandon Harris to 128 yards passing and only six completions. Mississippi State: Made four tackles on defense with two pass breakups … returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career ... his return in the second quarter was the Crimson Tide’s first score of the day and sparked a 14-0 run after being shut out in the first quarter. Charleston Southern: SEC Special Teams Player of the Week … first player in Alabama history to return two punts for touchdowns in the same game and the first to have three in two games … totaled 115 punt return yards on two returns … also made a career-high three tackles for loss. Auburn: Recorded two solo tackles and broke up a pass in the Crimson Tide’s 29-13 win on the Plains … helped limit the Tigers to 169 yards passing and just 260 total yards. Florida: Helped limit the Gators to just 15 yards rushing and 180 total yards … had one tackle as the Tide only allowed Florida to complete only 37.5 percent of its passes … returned a career-high seven punts for 32 yards with a long of 15 yards … also brought back one kickoff for 24 yards. Michigan State: Named Defensive MVP of the Cotton Bowl ... finished with three tackles and one interception which he returned for 21 yards ... his interception helped end an MSU scoring chance, as the Spartans were driving at the end of the first half before Jones’ pick on the goal line stopped the threat ... also added five punt returns for 80 yards with one returned for a touchdown ... his 57-yard return for a score was his fourth of the season to give him the Alabama all-time mark for punt returns in a single season, eclipsing the previous total of three that was shared by David Palmer (1991) and Javier Arenas (2008). Clemson: Made five tackles and broke up a pass in the Crimson Tide’s 45-40 win over the Tigers to secure the program’s 16th national title ... also returned one punt for 12 yards.
JUNIOR (2014): Earned one of the starting jobs at cornerback with a strong fall camp and played his way into second team All-SEC recognition (Associated Press) ... finished with 46 tackles, two tackles for loss (-10 yards), two forced fumbles, three interceptions (27 yards) and a team-high 13 pass breakups ... forced a fumble at Ole Miss and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown ... also had four punt returns for 82 yards and four kickoff returns for 77 yards ... earned Alabama Defensive Player of the Week honors against West Virginia, No. 14 LSU and No. 1 Mississippi State. West Virginia: Recorded a career-high seven tackles and one pass breakup.
FAU: Had three solo tackles, a forced fumble and a 70-yard punt return, the longest of his career. Southern Miss: Tallied one solo stop versus the Golden Eagles. Florida: Added a pair of tackles, both solo, for the Tide defense. Ole Miss: Proved to be a playmaker on defense against the Rebels ... punched the ball loose from a Rebel running back late in the second quarter and returned it for a 17-yard touchdown ... made three tackles from his starting cornerback spot, all solo, and broke up two passes. Arkansas: Registered one tackle for a loss (-9 yards) ... added a pass breakup and returned two punts for seven yards. Texas A&M: Notched six tackles, including four solo stops as the Tide held the Aggies 218 yards below their season average in the passing game and 393 yards off their total offensive pace. Tennessee: Recorded three solo tackles in a 34-20 win in Knoxville ... intercepted his first pass of the season and added a pass breakup ... also returned kickoffs in the absence of Christion Jones with three for 57 yards. LSU: Broke up the Tigers' fourth-down pass in overtime to secure the Crimson Tide's 20-13 come-from-behind victory ... added an assisted tackle. Mississippi State: Earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Alabama coaching staff for the second straight week ... intercepted his second pass of the season against the Bulldogs, picking off Heisman candidate Dak Prescott in the end zone in the fourth quarter ... finished with four solo tackles and two pass breakups. Western Carolina: Recorded four tackles with two solo stops and one pass breakup. Auburn: Made a career-high eight tackles, including six solo stops against the Tigers. Missouri: The Tigers rarely challenged the Tide's top cornerback ... made one tackle. Ohio State: Made two solo tackles while breaking up four Buckeyes' passes ... intercepted his third pass of the season and returned it 32 yards to set up an Alabama touchdown.
SOPHOMORE (2013): Moved to the defensive side of the football in 2013 and has played significant minutes at cornerback ... made his first career start at cornerback against Tennessee and started five games ... played in 11 contests collecting 25 tackles with two interceptions and seven pass breakups ... added a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss (10 yards). Texas A&M: Came into the game for an injured Deion Belue and made a critical first-half interception of Johnny Manziel in the end zone ... made four solo tackles and one assisted stop in the game. Kentucky: Came off the bench at Kentucky to assist on one tackle. Arkansas: Recorded his second interception of the year and had two solo tackles. Tennessee: Logged his first career start at cornerback and made four tackles with two solo stops and two pass breakups. LSU: Started for the second straight game ... had five solo tackles ... recorded his first career sack on the Tigers' last play of the game. Mississippi State: Equaled his season-high with five tackles, including two solo stops ... assisted on a tackle for loss and broke up a pass. Chattanooga: Logged one solo tackle and broke up a pass as the Tide starters played just over a half of football and helped limit the Mocs to 175 yards of offense. Auburn: Started and made one solo tackle. Oklahoma: Came off the to make one solo tackle and breakup one pass
FRESHMAN (2012): Played in 11 games as a true freshman, catching four passes for 51 yards ... returned 10 kicks for 250 yards ... also returned eight punts for 61 yards, with a long of 32 yards. Florida Atlantic: Caught one pass for 35 yards. Missouri: Latched onto one pass for four yards ... returned one kick for 23 yards and added a punt return for two yards. Tennessee: Named one of the special teams players of the week by the Alabama coaching staff ... returned one kick 27 yards ... had four punt returns for 59 yards, including a long of 32. Mississippi State: One of the special teams players of the week by Alabama coaching staff ... returned two kicks for 76 yards, with a long of 41 ... also returned a punt for four yards. Texas A&M: Returned two kicks for 35 yards against the
Aggies. Western Carolina: Caught two passes for 12 yards and returned a punt for no gain. Georgia: Returned four kicks for 89 yards, including a long return of 25 yards.
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