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Nick Saban's Alabama running backs not producing in NFL

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08:46 AM ET 09.22 | With his track record of sending players to the draft during his tenure at Alabama, there seems little doubt about Nick Saban's ability to produce and prepare players for the NFL. But the trade of Richardson certainly boils up some doubts about Crimson Tide running backs of recent vintage. In the past three seasons, Alabama has had two first-rounders (Richardson and former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram) and a second-round pick (Eddie Lacy). There are legitimate questions about New Orleans' choice of Ingram, who has only 10 starts in two-plus seasons and has averaged just 3.8 yards, in 2011. Lacy hasn't gotten off to the fastest start in Green Bay and is dealing with a concussion. And now Richardson has been traded despite having been the third overall pick in 2012. The less-heralded backs who played for Saban and were drafted into the league -- Le'Ron Mclain, Glen Coffee and Kenneth Darby -- haven't exactly been world-beaters.

National Football Post

Nick Saban, Getty Images Nick Saban, Getty Images
September 22, 2013  09:26 AM ET

These were great college RBs who played behind great O lines.

TRich? Cleveland's O line won't be mistaken for greatness.
Ingram? That's a passing spread offense that sux at run blocking.
Lacy? Yeah let's draw conclusions after a 3 week career.

September 22, 2013  09:29 AM ET

the title should be "'Bama backs not running behind dominant lines anymore"

September 22, 2013  09:33 AM ET

Guess Saban should've coached Lacy not to get concussions?

September 22, 2013  09:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Guess Saban should've coached Lacy not to get concussions?

... and he should have coached Ingram to play in space like a scat back so he could fit the Saints offense.

September 22, 2013  09:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Guess Saban should've coached Lacy not to get concussions?

Not taught as part of the "Process."

September 22, 2013  09:41 AM ET

Because it's a cut in pay?

Comment #7 has been removed
September 22, 2013  09:46 AM ET

???And, truth be told, with the way Nick uses his backs, he probably rubs some tread off the tires. But, hey, no excuses, we???ve got to do a better job of (evaluating) these guys.???
-------------------------------
Actually, the way Coach Saban uses RBs keeps the tread on them. He platoons them a lot more than other teams.

As has been noted many times before, the RB position is not really a position you draft high for, because of the way the RB is used and the historical long term durability of RBs in the NFL.

This guys seems to think somehow the way Coach Saban used RBs somehow makes them not work out well in the NFL. Any of you who have watched Alabama games, do you see how we are drastically using them in some strange, different manner than any other team? Because I never have.

September 22, 2013  09:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

So you are saying Ingram would be a good back somewhere else? backI know he suxs for NOLA..And Pierre Thomas isnt a scat back at all

Ingram is misused by NO and needs to be traded. He comes in on 3rd and short and short to goes pretty much all the time and they run in between the tackles almost every time. Every defense knows what's coming when Ingram comes in. This isn't an Ingram issue but an NO issue. Ingram is a very good receiver, but he's more of a jack of all trades and is not going to wow people receiving when you already have a Sproles.

What I'm trying to say is NO has backs that are excellent in the single things they do while Ingram is very good (or could be) in the several things he does. He's not going to beat out specialists in their areas.

He is the perfect example of a back that could excel at another team. Look at Reggie bush at Detroit. It's like his career is resurrected.

September 22, 2013  09:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

So you are saying Ingram would be a good back somewhere else? backI know he suxs for NOLA..And Pierre Thomas isnt a scat back at all

No not really. I was being a little extreme but I think Ingram is misused in NO. I don't think he's a good fit for Sean Peyton's offense. I saw the same thing when Peyton was with Dallas.

Comment #11 has been removed
Comment #12 has been removed
September 22, 2013  09:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

he cant beat out Pierre Thomas?He is what he is... So they misusing their 1st Rd pick on purpose? He sucks....He wont be good anywhere else either... I agree he needs to go...but if we get anything more than a 6th rd pick I would be shock... I would gladly take TR though...

If he sucks, he sucks, but I don't think it is anything other than that specific person. It's not like he was coached to suck as he was running for all the yards he ran up in college.

September 22, 2013  09:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

So they misusing their 1st Rd pick on purpose? He sucks....

Yes, they are. Granted I'm not watching NO every single game, but every time I have seen the Saints, they use Ingram on third and short and "short yardage" situations and run up the middle pretty much every time. Not going to look good doing that all the time.

Comment #15 has been removed
September 22, 2013  10:00 AM ET

And I don't think you have enough evidence to suggest Sproles is better than Ingram in every aspect. Have you ever even seen them throw to Ingram? "No, because he sucks!" is not an answer. His stats show that he has not had one pass thrown to him.

September 22, 2013  10:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I never said he wasnt a great college player.... no one said he was coached to suck...There's a long list of college players who couldnt cut it in the NFL... I shouldnt say he suck because he is on an NFL roster... Yes its all on him... Like I said, I would take TR any day of the week

And all I'm saying is if you put a guy on third and short every single time he =goes into the game and run him up the middle every time, his stats are not going to look good.

Comment #18 has been removed
Comment #19 has been removed
 
September 22, 2013  10:15 AM ET

Somehow - I don't think Nick really cares.

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