Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

ALABAMA NOTEBOOK: B.J. Emmons, Joshua Jacobs Working on Pass Protection

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

ALABAMA NOTEBOOK: B.J. Emmons, Joshua Jacobs Working on Pass Protection

Article excerpt

There's a lot more to playing running back than just simply securing the ball, finding the hole and running, just as there is much more to playing quarterback than throwing a football.

For a running back there's being able to pass block, knowing the blitz protections and more.

Those are no small things for freshmen running backs to master. Those things will determine how fast and how often B.J. Emmons and Joshua Jacobs will see the field this season.

"I think that's probably the one thing that we need to continue to work with those guys on -- understanding pass protections and how to pass block," UA head coach Nick Saban said. "You've heard me talk before about guys that are running backs; they're good running backs because they carry the ball good. Especially when they play in high school. The biggest thing we have to emphasize with guys is how do I play when I don't have the ball. How do I run pass routes? How do I pass protect? How do I block the right guy in pass protection?

"We've got two guys who have been in the system for a while and do really well. The young guys are making progress and we want them to continue to get a better understanding of what they need to do on a consistent basis. It's probably really important on third down because that's where you get different sort of front looks, pressures, whatever.

"But we're pleased with the progress. Not satisfied, but we're working on it. We're thinking both of those guys are going to make a contribution to us in the future."

Players on the team's leadership council have earned their way into that position. It's mainly, almost exclusively, a senior-laden group.

They're the players responsible for keeping the team in check. Senior safety Eddie Jackson is on the group, and he takes his role seriously.

"Me and a couple of the other guys in the leadership group try to be more vocal, you know get on top of the guys, stay on top of them, but we also want to lead by an example," Jackson said. …

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