Tag Archives: Robert Lester

Coaching Staff Players of the Week: Iron Bowl

The Alabama coaching staff has selected eight player for Player of the Week for the week of the 49-0 win in the Iron Bowl over Auburn.

Offense: AJ McCarron, Eddie Lacy, Amari Cooper and Barrett Jones. McCarron threw four touchdowns on 15-for-21 passing and 2aj16  yards. Lacy became the 16th Alabama running back with a 1,000 yard season with his 131 yards on 18 carries. Lacy also scored two touchdowns. Cooper caught five passes, two of them for touchdowns, and 109 yards. This is Cooper’s third 100-yard receiving game of the season as a true freshman. Jones was also named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week and, accoring to UA, did not miss an assignment against Auburn.

Defense: Robert Lester and Jeoffrey Pagan. Lester intercepted one pass on his Senior Day and returned it for 31 yards. He also led the team with five tackles, four of them solo. Pagan had three tackles, 1.5 for a loss and one sack.

Special Teams: Landon Collins and Reggie Ragland. Collins makes it two weeks in a row as being named a special teams players of the week with his two tackles and one punt downed inside the 20. Fellow true freshman Reggie Ragland recorded three assisted tackles on special teams, one inside the 20.

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AP photo

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Saban’s squad does some scoreboard watching

BCS Madness sent the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, into a madness of its own as two of the three teams ahead of the Crimson Tide in the BCS standings, Oregon and Kansas State, suffered upset losses.

The reaction was filled with enthusiasm, to say the least (video below), but the reaction for the members of the team was less-than-exciting.

“I had just woke up in my dorm room,” offensive lineman Chance Warmack said. “Somebody was like, ‘Hey, turn on the television.’ I was like, ‘Oh, for real?’ So I clicked on and watched it.”

Running back Eddie Lacy didn’t even watch the chaos begin.

“My brothers told me, and obviously social media networks kind of blew up, too,” he said.

Some made the effort to seek out the games, though.

“I’m a fan of football. I like to watch it,” safety Robert Lester said.

Whether the attention was on the games or not, all attention has now turned to the games separating the Tide from another chance at a national championship.

“The only thing we need to worry about right now is to play our football and not worry about what’s going on outside Alabama and handle it the way we need to handle it,” Lester said.

Lacy added, “You just have to focus on what you have in front of you right now, because if you don’t, most likely the opportunity you have, you might not be able to get to it because you’re thinking ahead and not on what you need to accomplish.”

Here is a video of the fanbase reacting to the upset victories that set Oregon and Kansas State back in the BCS standings, plus a cameo from Alabama center Barrett Jones at the 1:43 mark.

Robert Lester sporting Auburn gear?

As a fifth-year senior from the state of Alabama, and a high school program that produces pretty good talent (Foley High School), it is a little strange to find that Alabama safety Robert Lester does not know anyone on Auburn’s team.

And he admits that.

Alabama Missouri Football“You would think I do, but I don’t think I know one person at Auburn, besides my friends that went there,” Lester said.

Those friends, however, make up for the lack of ties to the football program and spice the rivalry up nicely for Lester.

“Actually, I have a bet with a friend that I went to high school with every year that if we win, he has to take a picture in Alabama gear, and if we lose, I have to take a picture in Auburn gear,” Lester said. “And I do not like dressing up in orange and blue.”

The picture may be worth 1,000 words, but the victor of the Iron Bowl will say many more than 1,000 to the loser in the following year.

“You get bragging right for 365 days. That’s saying a lot,” Lester said. “I’ve got friends that this game means a lot to, and if we lose this game, they’re going to have a lot to say to me.”

Freshman corner Geno Smith passes WCU test with flying colors

As cornerback John Fulton sat out of the Western Carolina game with turf toe, true freshman Geno Smith took over in his place and helped the defense shut out the Catamounts.

Smith accounted for one tackle and one pass break-up while predominately playing solid man coverage to hold Western Carolina to 93 passing yards.

Fla Atlantic Alabama Football “He’s come a long way. He’s continued to progress,” Lester said. “He’s one of the guys I’ve mentioned before that takes it upon himself to prepare for the games, learn the defense, which is such a complicated defense, go out there and execute the way the coaches and the players expect him to.”

Smith’s performance could be attributed to a breakthrough of sorts for the freshman.

“Geno has made nice progress this year, and to be honest with you I wish we could have played him more,” Saban said on Wednesday before the WCU game. “Sometimes with young guys they kind of all a sudden the light goes on and they got it, and they get it, and they start to play with confidence again and feel like they know what they’re doing, and they quick making a bunch of mistakes. That happened with Geno in the last couple of weeks.

“Maybe he sees a better opportunity to play, maybe that’s been a motivating factor for him, but I’ve been really pleased with his progress.”

Smith’s teammates saw his epiphany, as well.

“Being a freshman and not starting and not being one of the guys who everybody is depending on to play, he’s just kind of sitting back and taking everything in,” Lester said. “I think he realized, ‘I’m this close to playing.’ That light came on.”

Lester, Johnson and others taking final bow

As the Alabama Crimson Tide takes the field to let another installment of the Iron Bowl play out, some players will have more than the Auburn Tigers on their mind.

Some will have the honor of standing alongside members of their family before the game and walk through the Senior Day ceremony before they play their final game in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

As they get ready to display their four or five years of hard work for the final time, they can’t help but think it has only been four or five weeks.

“It seems like just yesterday I was redshirting and struggling trying to learn the plays,” safety Robert Lester said.

Linebacker Nico Johnson added, “I feel like I just AP photogot recruited.”

Playing in the Iron Bowl provides a special flashback for Johnson, as he remembers coming to an Iron Bowl as a recruit, and how he almost didn’t come.

“I was getting over the flu, and I was debating if I was going to come or not, but I was here,” Johnson said.

The experience sold him.

“It was my first Iron Bowl, as a matter of fact. It was exciting,” Johnson said. “I was ready to play that day. I was ready to come in and work.”

Work is the operative word for those two and the rest of their class, as they do not want to exit Bryant-Denny Stadium for the final time like the 2010 class did after Auburn came back to beat the Tide 28-27.

“I’m going to go out and give it everything I have like any other game,” Johnson said.

Lester added, “Of course, I want to go out with a ‘W’. It’s sad but it’s exciting at the same time. I can’t really explain what it feels like until that moment actually comes but I know I’m going to miss playing here.”

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For more on the meaning of the Iron Bowl to the senior class, click here to read about the friendly wager Lester has on the game every year.

Twitter Thursday: Missouri

Nick Perry is the headline act in this week’s Twitter Thursday, throwing a little trash talk towards both Robert Lester and AJ McCarron.

Barrett Jones continued his one-zinger-per-week streak also.

Well, maybe two.

Also, it’s good to know I’m not the only person around Alabama football watching the MLB playoffs.

Clearly the MLB playoffs was not the only thing on television.

On a personal note, I love it when the players agree with me.

And now we’ll take a quick look at Missouri, where some players love living in Cardinals Country.

Football Practice Notebook: Oct. 8, 2012

Find out what lesson Coach Saban taught his players throughout the weekend, plus his pass defense philosophy and more in my practice notebook from Monday before the Missouri game.