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November 8, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Alex Scarborough

Alex Scarborough
  (12:01 PM)

Welcome for another hour-long chat about all things Alabama football. We've got a good game this weekend with the Tide going up against the Aggies.

Zach (Columbus)

I know now isnt the time for this but do you think AJ will leave for the nfl draft after this season?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:04 PM)

I don't see that happening. He's done a lot to improve his stock this year by showing excellent accuracy and judgement, but there are still parts to his game that scouts will want to see. I think he stays another year and works on those things, improving from a second-tier option at quarterback in the draft to a top-tier one.

Eddie Lacey (Alabama)

This yeldon guy is pretty good, will he take carries away from me?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:07 PM)

C'mon Eddie, you already know the answer to that. No, Yeldon isn't stealing carries away from you. In fact, you have more carries than him now and I don't see that changing, barring injury. But, Eddie, you've got to like having a quality backup behind you to save your legs and help beat up on defenses. Combine yours and his numbers and you have the No. 1 rusher in the country.

scott turen (NJ)

Is Marvin Shinn a new part of the Tide receiving core

Alex Scarborough
  (12:09 PM)

For now, yes. If Cooper is able to show he's 100 percent at the X, then it's back to the bench for Shinn. I think we'll see much less from him this weekend.

Nick Perry (Bama)

Man was I owned last Saturday. Every big third down throw was targeted to the slot receiver I was covering. Am I a liability?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:13 PM)

Man, the fake Alabama players are eating up the chat today. ... I don't think Perry is quite the liability he seemed to be against LSU. When he's playing in space, he's fine. Much like another safety Vinnie Sunseri, he excels when he's not forced to play man-to-man. When the ball is in the air, both have issues. When they're able to keep the play in front of them and make plays at or near the line of scrimmage, they're fine.

Bama J (Grand bay Al)

Thanks for chatting with us Alex! What is the injury status on Amari and Lacy and also the rest of the team?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:14 PM)

My pleasure, Bama J. ... Expect both Amari Cooper and Eddie Lacy to be on the field on Saturday and ready to go. Cooper looks to be close to 100 percent. Lacy isn't quite there and we may see a more 50-50 split in carries with Yeldon. Other than those two, no major injury concerns to report. FWIW AJ McCarron looks about as healthy as we've seen him in weeks. He didn't wear the knee brace yesterday and said he feels great.

Willard (Cali)

How does Bama's defense stop Johnny?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:17 PM)

By playing smart, sound football and keeping the play in front of them. Alabama played its worst defensive game of the season against LSU. The missed tackles and errors in execution were totally out of character. Expect a return to the norm against Texas A&M. I think we'll see a spy constantly shadowing Manziel and don't look for Hubbard and the pass rushers to try for the sack. I think we'll see the rush try to contain Manziel and force the pass whenever possible, trying to eliminate any big plays he could get scrambling with the football.

Bama J (Grand bay Al)

Can Bama's offense, running and passing, be effective against A&M's defense?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:19 PM)

I expect they will. One thing that confused me against LSU was how Alabama abandoned the running game in the second half. I think that will change at home as they try to keep the ball out of the hands of Manziel and the Aggies offense. While A&M can generate a good pass rush, I don't see anything about their defense that scares me. McCarron and Co. shouldn't meet quite the same resistance as they got in Baton Rouge.

Sam Perry (Lawerenceville,GA)

Do you think Bama will beat Georgia AND Kansas State or Oregon?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:24 PM)

I don't think they'll have to, Sam. The playoff isn't here yet. But, yes, I think I'd like Alabama's chances against all three. Georgia is flawed on defense. Kansas State doesn't have the athletes. And Oregon's defense needs a better word than "flawed". They put up less resistance than a cobweb.

Sgt. James Riker (Iraq)

How was the players focus this week after the LSU win. Did they snap back to the reality?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:29 PM)

I've been surprised at the lack of a hangover from Baton Rouge, the figurative kind of course. As AJ McCarron said last night, the win at LSU means nothing if they don't finish the season strong.

Greg S. (Cookeville, TN)

What do you think about CJ Mosley leaving early for the NFL ?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:31 PM)

My gut says he stays but there's a good chance he goes, too. He's improved a lot this season and has shown just how good of a linebacker he can be. His sideline-to-sideline speed is among the best I've seen from a guy his size. But his size is also to his detriment. He's not a big guy and would have to find the right home in the NFL to fit.

Kenny (Alexandria)

So what do you think the folks in Tuscaloosa will be giving more thanks to Les Miles for this Thanksgiving: for his idiotic decisions that handed Bama the game on Saturday or for keeping Zach Mettenberger on the bench against the Tide last year?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:32 PM)

I hadn't even thought about having Zach on the bench last year until now, though I don't think that would have made any difference. I think we all need to wait and see if that was the real Zach Mettenberger we saw last Saturday or just a mirage.

Shaun (TN)

Do you think Bama plays a similar gameplan to Michigan? Not really rushing the QB but playing contain and maybe having Mosely spy?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:33 PM)

That's exactly what I think they do. More "affecting the quarterback" rather than trying to sack him.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Why should TAMU fans believe that Johnny Manziel can do against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, what he couldn't do at home against LSU and Florida?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:35 PM)

Because he's just a freshman, that's why. He's got so much to learn and to improve upon. When you're talking about a guy who hasn't gone through a full season yet, the change from week to week can be seismic. Do I think Manziel will tear up the Alabama defense? No. But do I think Texas A&M fans should be optimistic every time he takes the field. Yes. They've got a guy who every coach in this country would like to have on their football team right now, including Nick Saban.

Shaun (TN)

Do we have anybody that can cover nickel? It was exposed last weekend.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:37 PM)

We may see more of John Fulton on Saturday for that very reason, possibly Geno Smith. Nick Perry and Vinnie Sunseri are good at the nickel when they don't have to stay man-to-man on receivers. When the ball is in the air and over their head, they're in trouble.

Gene Chizik (auburn)

do you think i should be fired or my offensive coordinator should while i get a new offensive coordinator that can run the spread?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:39 PM)

You'd have to ask your AD, Gene. But if I were you, I'd start exploring my options. And, no, I don't expect the spread on the Plains next year. SEC defenses are too fast and strong for it to work in this league.

Barret Jones (Lunch)

Seems like TJ is more productive, why don't we run him more? BTW how do you know we are fake players? hmmmmmmm

Alex Scarborough
  (12:41 PM)

I suppose I can't know with certainty that you aren't the real Barrett Jones, well, except for the fact that you spelled his first name wrong. ... T.J. is getting as many carries as I'd expect from a true freshman. He's averaging 7 yards per carry and leading the team in rushing, so I'd say what they're doing with him is working well.

Kevin Norwood (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Should I consider legally changing my name to Mr. Clutch? We don't win last week without my clutch catches on The Drive To Survive!

Alex Scarborough
  (12:41 PM)

I like Mr. Clutch, though I think we can get more creative than that.

John (Atlanta,Ga)

Wow!This is a great season.We beat Tennessee and LSU and unless all of our first and second team in injured we will beat Auburn.Chizik and Dooley are both on the hot seat.Great to be an Alabama fan!

Alex Scarborough
  (12:42 PM)

Don't skip Texas A&M in your mind just yet. The road to the SEC championship game isn't as free and clear as you'd think.

Kenny (Alexandria)

As an LSU fan, I have noticed that Saban is starting to build a very strong recruiting base in Louisiana. Many of the kids who LSU and Bama are battling over were in attendance Saturday night. If you were a recruit, would you be more impressed with the gameday atmosphere of LSU or the unlikely final drive by Bama?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:44 PM)

I think recruits walked away with a positive impression of each. Those who were favoring Alabama saw what they needed to see and those who favored LSU saw the Tigers play a better game than many expected. For all intents and purposes, they were the better team most of the night. I'd call the recruiting impact a draw.

Jeremy (Tupelo, MS)

Talking the NFL draft....do you see any other offensive players leaving early?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:46 PM)

The No. 1 guy I look at is D.J. Fluker. Before the LSU game I thought he'd come back. Now, I'm not so sure. He's still got room to improve in pass coverage but his raw skills will tempt NFL GMs. The other guy I wonder about is Eddie Lacy. Injuries are the question with him, but how much more can he do from a production standpoint to improve his stock. His number of carries won't rise with T.J. Yeldon, Jalston Fowler, Kenyan Drake, Dee Hart and others in the bullpen next season.

Greg S. (Cookeville, TN)

Would like to hear your thoughts on possibility of Mosley and Millner going pro early .

Alex Scarborough
  (12:47 PM)

I wouldn't bet against Milliner going pro. His draft stock is about as high as I think it goes right now. As far as Mosley, I think it's a toss up. His size isn't ideal, but his production has been fantastic. He could fit well in the right system.

lenhester75 (paradise)

we all know Nkemdiche is going to Ole Miss...........jus sayin

Alex Scarborough
  (12:47 PM)

Do we know that, Len? Yeah, OK, we probably have a good feeling with Momma nudging him that direction. But this is recruiting and things change in a moments notice. Nothing is final until NSD.

lenhester75 (paradise)

Perry will be replaced this week for TAM's offense, mark it down. We'll see fulton on the field.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:48 PM)

Agreed. Fulton hasn't done as much as the coaching staff had hoped from him, but he's probably their best option now. Maybe we'll see some more of Geno Smith, too.

SI Roberson (Monroe La)

Will Bama dominate A&M in the offense and defense trenches?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:50 PM)

No, I don't believe they will. That's the area Texas A&M is most underrated, in my opinion. They have arguably the best pair of offensive tackles in the country and their defensive line is good at getting pressure on the quarterback. The Aggies rank second in the SEC in sacks this season.

Bobby (Alabama)

are we going to get Robert Foster?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:51 PM)

You'd have to ask our Alabama recruiting expert Greg Ostendorf. You can find his work on TideNationESPN.com. He's on Twitter at @GregO_ESPN. I just read and react on the recruiting front.

scott turen (NJ)

I am a member of BOL and Alabama Rivals and I must say, you guys at TideSports have really stepped it up this year.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:52 PM)

I hope you mean TideNation, Scott. Glad you're on the chat either way. Just be sure to give TideNationESPN.com a read every once in a while. Thanks.

Greg S. (Cookeville, TN)

Who do you think our 1st player drafted this year is ?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:53 PM)

Good question. I'd make an argument for either Dee Milliner or Chance Warmack. The buzz around Warmack is big and Milliner is one of the top CBs on the board. Tough to say, but those two were the ones that came to mind.

Barrett Jones (Alabama)

Do you think I can be a first round draft pick?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:54 PM)

Probably not. There are some concerns about physical characteristics. What he does in the combine will be vital, but he's a sure fire bet to be drafted either way. I like him in the second, third or fourth round.

John (Boston)

I think it was more than a coincidence that Bama's worst defensive game of the year was the game that Mosley was "schemed" out of the majority of snaps......He is their best LB and diagnoses the run better than Nico and Trey from what I have seen......Why do we willingly put our best most disruptive defensive player on the sideline? He should be a 3 down player imo

Alex Scarborough
  (12:56 PM)

Saban and Smart are going to ride out their gameplan until the very end. You can't give a player new responsibilities in the middle of a game and expect him to perform well. We may end up seeing a minor change this week or next, but I wouldn't bet on it. They practiced with the same base defense all season and it's hard to see them abandoning it based on one game.

D.J. Fluker (Alabama)

People were saying that I could not stop LSU's defense because I could get beat on the outside.I think I did a good job protecting McCarron.How do you think I did?

Alex Scarborough
  (12:57 PM)

As I said earlier, I think you did a fantastic job, D.J. You made yourself a lot of money in Baton Rouge.

scott turen (NJ)

TideNationESPN.com is what I meant. I have been a member for three years and read all of the stories. This year you guys have made the jump to the elite in my opinion

Alex Scarborough
  (12:57 PM)

Thanks, Scott. Hope we continue to live up to expectations.

Alex Scarborough
  (12:59 PM)

Well, folks, that's all the time I've got today. Enjoy the rest of the week and let's hope for a good game on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Remember, same time same place next week. In between now and then, be sure to check out TideNationESPN.com and the ESPN.com college football page for all the breaking news and analysis you can handle.