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For those who keep calling out Vinnie, I wanted to provide some perspective:
Vinnie has been playing a position that he is not best suited for out of necessity all season. He is not a natural Star, and ordinarily would not be playing in that position. Keep in mind that the Star position was designed for and has always been played by a corner in Saban’s defense. Unfortunately we only have 2 other players on the team who can effectively play the position, Milliner (who is desperately needed elsewhere as he is our best cover corner) and Gino Smith (who was not mentally ready until now). The reason for this is that Star requires quickness rather than straight-line speed (eliminating Sylvie & Fulton), and also requires a deep understanding of the defense.
For those saying play Collins, frankly you just don’t fully understand the problem. Collins is a true safety, and the fact that the light is coming on for him is great because it provides a backup for Lester and Ha-Ha eliminating the need to have Nick Perry on the field. That said, replacing Vinnie with Collins at Star would be a disaster. Keep in mind that Collins is a natural safety and the Star position is designed for a very quick corner. He, just like Vinnie will lack the quickness to effectively cover a slot receiver. Yes, it is true that due to his natural athletic ability he would likely get beat less often than Vinnie. That said, keep in mind, he has been struggling all season just to grasp the safety position (and from Saban’s comments, the light has finally come on). Adding another position for him to learn (and one that he is not a natural fit for) would only set back his learning process and lead to us continuing to use Nick Perry (who has been out of position far more often than Vinnie) more than we should.
Having said all of that, if we can get Fulton, Milliner, & Belue healthy, we will have 4 solid corners (inclusive of Sylvie). The fact that the light has come on for Gino Smith means that he will likely be able to be our primary Star, meaning we don’t need Vinnie to play that position as often. The light coming on for Collins means that we now have 3 solid players at safety (Lester, Ha-Ha, Collins), which means that we will be able to rely less on Perry. This will allow Vinnie to focus on the 6th db position. That is his natural position, and one that he excels at. In that situation, he is able to provide the run support that he is fantastic at, able to Blitz (another strength) and will be far less of a liability in coverage. I am not saying that he will never get beat, because he will. I am just saying that as the 6th db, the rewards of playing him will far outweigh the risks.
I do have to say that it is funny how in the spring most (not all) of you were going crazy about how he was going to be the next great thing. How quickly you turn on our players without fully considering the reasons behind their performance. I still remember 2 years ago when Milliner was getting beat regularly as a freshman and you guys were going after him the same way that you are Vinnie. I don’t hear too much of that anymore.
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by BigFunny98 17 months ago
Prospective? Wtf man get a dictionary
Also, if you are trying to say Collins at star will be a disaster because he lacks quickness you must not know much about the guy. He's a track star.
Quickness and straight-line speed are 2 different things.
I think we need to do something before the UGA game. There's plenty of film on Vinnie and his lack of coverage skills. They may just pick on him the whole game.
"Theres No Substitute for Guts"
I was with you until this. Everyone here understands that Vinnie is an important part of our team, and everyone here is glad he is playing for the Tide and not someone else. But that does not make him above reproach. He has gotten beat fairly often this year, and it is okay that people point it out. I guarantee you that Vinnie doesn't want people to hand his hand and tell him how great he is.
Turn on our players? Get outta here with that garbage.
"Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself." -Coach Bryant
Collins does not lack quickness. He can at every position in the secondary. He lacks experience and we would be best served as a team with him playing safety because of depth issues. However, Collins is an elite level athlete so it is hard to imagine him suffering at the star position because he lacks quickness. That's just not true.
Also, to suggest that Vinnie is a natural corner in any regard is a mistake. He is a linebacker in a safety's body. He struggles in coverage because his physical limitations make it difficult for him to cover quicker smaller receivers in space. What we are likely to see against Georgia, and any team we play going forward are more situations that isolate Vinnie in coverage. The tape is out there. Georgia is going to find him and try to punish him. They have the personnel to do it and we don't have the consistent pass rush from our defensive line to stop it.
And to your last point concerning people going after Milliner as a freshman getting beat like we are going after Vinnie now. That's just not true. Milliner was a freshman with elite athleticism. So, you knew once he matched his skill with his athleticism that he was going to be a monster. We know that Vinnie, no matter what, will always be a liability in coverage. The comparison doesn't make sense. We all love Vinnie because he plays hard and gives his all. That does not change the fact that opposing teams target him. No one is turning on Vinnie, we are just calling it like we see it. Numerous national analyst have said the same thing and played the tape to back up their point. We love Vinnie but we also all know that if their were better alternatives on the sideline he would not be playing as much as he does now.
Not hating on Vinnie, but even Western Carolina targeted him with some success. Vinnie was just too slow in man coverage.
IMO, Vinnie (not Belue) is the weakest link in our secondary.
Everyone knows it. Sure he is good against the run and can (normally) tackle well, but that is not all that matters when we are up against a team who likes to put the ball in the air.
Why does this post have 17 up votes? Fooled me into opening it.
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