Morning Look: Skins Are Bamas
Nine summers ago, Shaun Alexander, Chris Samuels and Cornelius Griffin were regarded as the cornerstones of Alabama's football team, with the Crimson Tide finally began to break out after NCAA sanctions. They were the leaders, the ones who had believed during the dark years, the ones who would make fans forget about rule-breaking. From the student paper that summer:
Alexander, Samuels and Griffin will surely help decide their team's fate this coming season. Their success in recording touchdowns, blocks and tackles may be analyzed in various numbers, but their intangible contributions of leadership and maturity will far surpass any statistics.
Well, now there's some more joint fate-deciding on tap.
And it's something of a trend. With Alexander's addition, the Redskins now have nine players on their 53-man roster who played college ball in the SEC West. That's 17 percent of the roster from just one six-team college division, plus two more guys on the practice squad: Alexander, Samuels and Griffin from Alabama, LaRon Landry from LSU, Fred Smoot and Randy Thomas from Mississippi State, and Jason Campbell, Carlos Rogers and Marcus Washington from Auburn.
So that's often eight of 22 starters, or 36 percent. (The practice squaders are Devin Aromashodu from Auburn and Matteral Richardson from Arkansas.)
Add in Demetric Evans and Kedric Golston (Georgia) and Todd Yoder and Justin Geisinger (Vandy) and you have almost exactly 25 percent of your active players from the SEC, plus three out of your eight practice squaders.
As for Samuels and Alexander, they were linked throughout that 1999 season, during which Alexander was frequently mentioned as a Heisman candidate, along with guys like Joe Hamilton and Drew Brees.
"I've got to give the credit to our offensive linemen, especially Chris Samuels," Alexander said frequently during the season; that one was from the Birmingham News.
"One of our goals as an offensive line is to go out and pave Shaun's path to the Heisman," Samuels said frequently that season.
"You run behind him, and he might block one, two or even three guys himself," Alexander said at the time, according to the AP. "By the time I get to the line, there's one dead body on the ground and maybe two or three badly bruised guys depending on what kind of mood he's in."
And now, apparently, Samuels will have to create more dead buddies for his buddy. Metaphorically. No pistol play.
Also, in one of those special moments made possible by too much free time and the Internet, check out the below image. That's from early November of 2002, and it's Fred Smoot, Ifeanyi Ohalete and LaVar Arrington gang tackling Shaun Alexander. Nearly six years later, Smoot has left and returned, Arrington has started opinionating from the television set, and Ohalete sold his number and departed, with the new owner of 26 now prepared to split duties with the newly arrived Alexander. Weird game.
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